SFA chief says Olympic hopefuls could face backlash from Scotland fans
Wednesday 18 January 2012
Stewart Regan believes Scotland's Olympic football hopefuls could suffer the wrath of the Tartan Army if they turn out for Team GB.
A number of Craig Levein's squad have been formally approached to request their availability for this summer's Games in London.
Old Firm stars Scott Brown, James Forrest, Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker have been targeted along with Kenny Miller, Steven Fletcher, Stephen McManus and Barry Robson.
The Scottish Football Association and its chief executive Regan are against Scottish players featuring for Team GB for fear it could jeopardise the nation's independent FIFA status.
Regan insists no pressure is being applied to the players by the SFA to say no and acceptance of an Olympic invite will not jeopardise their Scotland futures.
However, he warned about potential recriminations from the Scotland supporters
Regan told a number of newspapers: "We are not going to say, 'You cannot play' or 'If you do, you'll be dropped'.
"As far as policy is concerned, they wouldn't be looked upon any differently from any other eligible player.
"You have to factor in the individual's right and perspective for their own career.
"We said all along we were not going to interfere.
"But it will be disappointing from a fan's perspective because there is an element of supporters who are really hoping we don't have players taking part and pulling on the Team GB shirt.
"They would have to deal with the backlash from fans because I'm sure there will be some element within the support who would want to protect Scotland's independence.
"Players who live outside Scotland, who are probably not open to the press coverage and the feedback from the Tartan Army supporters' clubs, maybe don't feel the same degree of nationalistic support.
"Maybe they don't see it as big a deal as those who are regularly playing with a Scottish team in a Scottish league.
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