'No pressure' for Stuart Pearce to pick David Beckham for Olympic team despite support role

 

David Beckham has played a key role in backing the London 2012 Games, but it does not mean that Stuart Pearce has to pick him for the Olympic football team, Lord Coe said today.

The LA Galaxy player and former England skipper has used his high international profile, both on and off the pitch, to help London 2012.

He takes on another starring role when he helps to collect the Olympic Flame at the official handover in Athens and take it back Britain on a golden plane for the 70-day torch relay leading up to the start of the 2012 Olympics.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman and a two-time Olympic 1500m champion, said: "We have put absolutely no pressure on Stuart Pearce at all. He has to pick the team that he thinks can lift that trophy. I would not expect any coach to be operating on any other basis, whether it is wrestling or football.

"The coach has to be in pole position. You can never put any pressure on coaches to choose people for any reason other than skill and merit."

"It is entirely up to Stuart. I think that having David around the Olympic programme is a fantastic thing but it is not for anybody other than Stuart to decide whether he brings value-added to the team."

Having Beckham's high-profile involvement in the Olympics is not making it harder for Pearce to potentially exclude him if he saw fit.

"Absolutely not," Lord Coe, said pointing to other high profile sport stars who have backed London 2012.

"Any more than we would expect a recall for (Sir) Steve Redgrave (five-time Olympic rowing champion) or Daley Thompson (two-time Olympic decathlon champion).

"It would be ridiculous not to use somebody who has been intimately involved with the whole process and actually rings up on a regular basis to ask if there is anything else that he needs to know or can do to help."

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said: "Elite sport at its very best. It is really technical, tough, competitive hard-nosed stuff and that is going on across 26 Olympic sports at the moment.

"You can not have in that highly-competitive department a sentimental moment and pick somebody because it would be nice for the front of the newspapers - that is not the way this process works.

"It would be lovely, yes, to see Beckham at the Olympics but he has to be there on the merits of his own performance and nothing else."

Lord Coe also pointed out that Beckham's usefulness is not just in his international glamour and appeal but also in being a Leytonstone-born sportsman who could stress the value bringing the Games to his old East End stomping ground.

In Singapore 2005, during London 2012's final push during the bid to stage the Games, Beckham said he was dreaming of the day the Olympics would be held in his old east London "manor".

Lord Coe said: "David has been with us from the very beginning. He was there when the evaluation team came through London. He has hosted people on the Olympic Park for us.

"Even before Singapore he was travelling independently for us and helping us get some of the core messages across. He has spent time with our teams both through the bid and subsequently. He was, of course, in Singapore and just a few weeks ago in Los Angeles he was helping me with my own engagement programme.

"It is absolutely right that he should be with us."

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week