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SBD Global/August 15, 2012/International Football

Great Britain Women's Football Team Won't Compete In Future Olympics

The Great Britain women’s football team will not compete as a unified nation in future Games, making them unable to "build on the success of their inaugural Olympic campaign," according to Smith & Lansley of the LONDON TIMES. Coach Hope Powell’s "run to the quarterfinals captured the country’s imagination" during the London Games. However, Football Association General Secretary Alex Horne told The Times that it is “unlikely” that the team will be allowed to compete at the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games. Horne admitted that the FA "does not wish to see the footballing sovereignty of the four home nations jeopardised by the presence of a Team GB for either men or women in qualifying for Rio." Britain has traditionally not submitted a team for the tournament "for fear that FIFA would use the precedent to force England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to join forces at all levels of int'l football." Horne said, “Within the men’s game, it is not going to happen again. On the women’s side, I’m going to say it’s unlikely, for the same reason. But you can understand why it’s more compelling. Olympic football for women is the pinnacle.” Horne’s point of view "will come as a severe blow to those who hoped the Olympics could provide a boost for the game" in Great Britain. Women’s football is the third-largest participation sport in Britain, though its media and TV presence "is minimal" (LONDON TIMES, 8/14).
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