Welsh stand firm on 2012 team as Bale suggests he would like to play

Welsh football chiefs remain opposed to any of their country's players representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics. Tottenham and Wales star Gareth Bale, one of the hottest properties in the British game, has reportedly intimated his interest in featuring at the tournament. At present, that is not possible as the Football Association of Wales (FAW), along with its Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, is refusing to take part.

Those associations fear that their independent status within world governing body Fifa could be jeopardised if they were to participate. The English Football Association has therefore agreed to represent the host nation at the Games.

The British Olympic Association insists, however, it would be discriminatory if the FA refuses to select players from any of the other home nations. The impasse seems unlikely to be broken soon with the FAW yesterday insisting it would not make its players available.

FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said: "Our position on this has not changed and is unlikely to change. There is no drive for us to change our position."

With Wales having not qualified for a major tournament since 1958, the attraction for a player such as 21-year-old Bale to the Olympic event is obvious. Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, 20, is another player who would probably come into consideration if selection for the Olympic tournament, which is an under-23 competition, was open.

Ford says no player has come forward with a request to the FAW about the matter. He added: "We haven't been in a situation where anybody has been approached. Let's take one step at a time and if we get to that we will have the discussion at that time."

Ford was speaking at a press conference to announce Vauxhall as the FAW's new main sponsor until the end of the 2014 World Cup campaign. The car manufacturer has already agreed a deal with the English FA and is expected to make further announcements in conjunction with Scotland and Northern Ireland in the coming days.

These new sponsorship deals have coincided with reports that the Home International tournament could be revived.

The FA has played down the suggestions by saying that it is considering arranging a series of friendlies with the other home nations in 2013, the year of their 150th anniversary.

Ford has gone a step further by suggesting England could be included in that year's Carling Nations Cup. That competition takes place for the first time this year with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland playing in a round-robin event in Dublin.

Ford added: "I can confirm that some provisional discussions have taken place but they are just discussions at the moment with regard to what the remit of the 2013 tournament could be.

"I can certainly suggest on behalf of the Football Association of Wales, that if England did come back into the fold for a competition we would be delighted to take part ourselves."

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence