22 Jun 2011

British football team appears a no go

12:15 pm on 22 June 2011

The British Olympic Association's claim that they had reached agreement to field a Great Britain football team at the London Olympics next year were ridiculed by among others Northern Irishman Jim Boyce, vice-president of world governing body FIFA.

The BOA had announced a deal had been done but that claim was clearly denied by the Welsh while the Scots had made it clear on Tuesday that a deal was unlikely given the attitude of their players.

Boyce, a former president of the Irish FA and recently-elected FIFA vice-president, said that news of a deal came as a great surprise.

He says the three associations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have made it clear they will not be changing their decision about a British Olympic team adding he knows nothing about any agreement.

Phil Pritchard, president of the Welsh FA, was furious at the BOA announcement saying they're not part of any agreement and the FA have no authority to speak on their behalf.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford says the deal was a figment of the BOA's imagination.

Officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have long been opposed to their players taking part in a British team, fearing it will be the start of a process that ends with them no longer recognised as independent football nations by global governing body FIFA.