Unapologetic Ramsey may bring players' union into Team GB row
Saturday 12 November 2011
Aaron Ramsey insists he has no regrets over wearing the Team GB supporters' shirt and reinforced his desire to play in the 2012 Olympics.
The Wales captain, with his team-mate Gareth Bale, sparked furore in their homeland by posing in the controversial kit last week. That public appearance went against the stance of the Football Association of Wales, who oppose its players from featuring for Team GB at the London Games next year. The FAW are concerned that a Great Britain side would undermine their independent status for future Fifa competitions.
However, Ramsey, speaking ahead this afternoon's friendly with Norway in Cardiff, hinted that he could yet involve the Professional Footballers' Association to fight his corner. The Arsenal midfielder said: "I don't regret what I was doing. Gareth and I are contracted to Adidas and it was a shoot for them. Whatever I say about the Olympics I'm going to get a reaction – positive or negative. I've said what I have to say about the Olympics.
"The Games are still a long way away. A lot can happen in football between now and then. But if it does not affect Wales' identity then I still want to play. I haven't sought any advice from the PFA yet. It's something I may do. I may have a meeting, but I'm not sure."
The Wales manager Gary Speed said: "It's the players' decision. I won't be intimidating anyone. I have just re-iterated the FAW stance, which is the right one. I have told the players to have a think about it before deciding. My own position and view means nothing." Former Wales striker Mickey Thomas has warned that Ramsey and Bale could face a backlash from fans at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Ramsey added: "I was inexperienced when I first took the captaincy. I've been captain for a while and I feel I'm growing into the role.
"These little things are only going to help me become a stronger person and a better captain. I hope the fans are supportive. Whenever I put on a Welsh shirt I give 100 per cent. Gareth and Joe [Allen] are no different to me.
"We want to go out there and win. I'm a proud Welshman who gives his best every time so hopefully the fans will get behind us and we can get another good performance."
Wales (probable) (4-3-3): Hennessey; Gunter, Blake, Williams, Taylor; Crofts, Ramsey, Allen; Bale, Morison, Bellamy.
Norway (probable) (4-4-2): Jarstein; Demidov, Hangeland, Wehler, JA Riise; Tettey, Jenssen, Grindheim, Pedersen; Huseklepp, Abdellaoue.
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