No football at Olympics: Greene

Welsh hurdle champion, Dai Greene, insists there should not be a British football side at the London 2012 Games as it will "overshadow" traditional Olympic sports.

Britain’s best chance for a gold medal in the Olympics, Dai Greene.
Britain’s best chance for a gold medal in the Olympics, Dai Greene.

The British Olympic Association want a football team to play in London but the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland football associations are against it. They fear a British team threatens their independence and Greene feels the Olympics has "no place" for football.

"I don't think the football team should be there in the first place," he said. "I hope that those big names don't overshadow those people who have trained for four years to be there for that one moment. These guys have four to five weeks off in the summer then become an Olympian. It does seem a little bit out of place.

"These guys wants to win Premierships, Champions League trophies and World Cup medals. They don't grow up wanting to be an Olympic champion, they want to be the best in football. The crowning glory in football isn't being Olympic champion so I don't think their sport should necessarily be involved – or at least at a professional level."

Greene is world, Commonwealth and European 400m hurdles champion so is one of Great Britain's best hopes for a home gold at the London Games.

"When some guy wins a gold medal in badminton or swimming, they want it to be about them and their hard work and their story to get there.

"But sadly, in some of the papers, that might be overshadowed with what David Beckham had for breakfast, maybe – and that is not a great story from our point of view."

Football teams at the Olympics are for under-23 players but Games organisers do allow three 'over age' players in each squad.

Wales stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have stated their intention to play for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics despite the Football Association of Wales being against Welsh players competing for fears it threatens their sovereignty.

"I'm all for players representing Team GB," said Greene. "But I wish there wasn't a Team GB in the first place."

Post published in: Football

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