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Celtic FA's hit out at Team GB announcement

Wed 22nd Jun 2011 | Football Governance

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations have reacted angrily after the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced that a deal had been struck for a Great Britain team featuring footballers from all four UK nations to be fielded at the London 2012 Olympics.

The BOA unveiled what it labelled as a “landmark” collaboration just a day after Scottish Football Association CEO Stewart Regan reiterated his organisation’s opposition to being involved in a British team at the Games. However, although the BOA’s announcement was made with the knowledge of the Football Association (FA) in England, the neighbouring Associations made clear in a joint statement that they had not agreed to such a deal.

“No discussions took place with any of us, far less historic agreement been reached, prior to the statement from the BOA being released,” read the statement that was signed by Regan, Football Association of Wales CEO Jonathan Ford and Irish Football Association chief executive Patrick Nelson.

“The Associations are committed to supporting the individual home nations playing all representative football under their respective flags as independent members of FIFA and UEFA.” An earlier statement from the BOA claimed that the men's and women's sides would be selected and managed by the English FA.

“Consistent with requirements set out in the Olympic Charter, the selection criteria will be entirely non-discriminatory,” stated the BOA. “Players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other territories which fall under the BOA's remit as an NOC, who meet the approved competitive standard will be eligible for consideration and selection.”

In the BOA statement, FA general secretary Alex Horne said: “We are pleased that the team will be selected from players across the home nations and I'd like to thank our counterparts at the Welsh, Irish and Scottish FA’s for their understanding on what is a difficult issue.”

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