8 Aug 2008

England says Britain will play football in 2012 Olympics

12:19 pm on 8 August 2008

English Football Association Chief Executive Brian Barwick says Britain will definitely field a team in the men's football tournament at the 2012 London Olympics even without the backing of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Britain, the Olympic champions in 1908 and 1912, haven't played in the men's finals since 1960 and have never entered a women's team because of concerns that the independent status of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be compromised.

Although FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeatedly said that their status is enshrined in the ruling body's statutes and would not be undermined by a British team taking part in 2012, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland FAs have been staunchly opposed to it.