Gareth Bale could be banned from playing for Tottenham during Olympics says Sepp Blatter

 

Great Britain boss Stuart Pearce will not be making a complaint to FIFA
about Gareth Bale's withdrawal from Olympic duty with a back injury.

Bale was not selected in Pearce's 18-man squad after reporting that he would not be fit enough to take part.

Yet, with GB set to take on Senegal in their opening game at Old Trafford tomorrow, the 23-year-old played and scored for his club in their pre-season match with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the United States last night.

It immediately led to a string of complaints, with former Wales skipper Robbie Savage and England striker Gary Lineker expressing their surprise at Bale's presence on Tottenham's tour.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter weighed into the argument, claiming that he would be willing to sanction Bale being suspended until the end of Olympic competition on August 12 should the FA lodge an official objection.

However, Press Association Sport understands that will not happen.

Aside from the fact it would look exceptionally petty given Bale would not miss any competitive matches even if he was suspended, Pearce is eager to maintain his focus on tomorrow evening's game.

In addition, he does not believe generating attention around what he sees as a side issue is the best way forward given the potential for drawing publicity away from this afternoon's opening Olympic event, GB women's group opener against New Zealand in Cardiff.

It has also been pointed out that, following this morning's final training session, Pearce's initial 18-man squad remains in tact, unlike Roy Hodgson, who lost four members of his Euro 2012 to injury before a ball had been kicked.

The FA and British Olympic Association have not commented on Bale's appearance, but Blatter earlier said if there was an official complaint to FIFA then the 23-year-old could be banned for playing again for Spurs - even in friendlies - until August 12.

Asked about Bale, Blatter told the Press Association: "The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics.

"So far nobody came to FIFA to say we should, but it is a possibility we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team.

"They (the association) complain and then we say let this player go or he cannot play for the club.

"FIFA's position has never been so clear than it is now for the Olympics 2012 and 2016."

Blatter admitted that some countries such as Switzerland had not insisted on clubs releasing players but that all were entitled to.

After making his comeback, Bale said his rehabilitation from a back injury was "well ahead of schedule".

He told Spurs TV Online: "After about 65 minutes my calf started to cramp up a bit but it was a good workout. It was one that I needed and it was good to get a goal as well.

"My rehab's gone very well at the club - we are well ahead of schedule.

"I am glad to be back. It's important to get a pre-season under my belt for the season forthcoming so I am just delighted to be back now without any problems."

Bale came under fire on Twitter today, with former Wales star Robbie Savage posting: "So A legend like [Ryan] giggs plays for the GB team , but bale who pulls out with injury scores for spurs last night , is that right ?

"Wales capt [Aaron] Ramsey, most decorated player giggs , prem league winner [Micah] Richards , does bale think he's better than that even if he is class !"

Former England captain Gary Lineker posted: "Gareth Bale who pulled out of the Olympics through injury played for Spurs last night. Once in a lifetime opportunity thrown away £baffled."

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said: "He came back to us during this week and you could say that we took a risk. We were on alert about the amount of effort he could put in.

"Gareth is young and physically a beast so he was able to put in the effort and we extended that because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before the start of the season.

"We just welcome his recovery - that is the most important thing for me. To have a player of this dimension available is fantastic."

Bale was one of the faces of Team GB in the build-up to the Olympics and declared his desire to play.

PA

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.

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