David Beckham may be offered place on standby list after Stuart Pearce snubs him for Olympics


The door is still narrowly open for David Beckham to be involved in the Olympic Games. Team GB manager Stuart Pearce said yesterday he "fully expects" Beckham to be available for his four-man standby list for the Games.

Pearce surprised many by not choosing Beckham in his 18-man squad, unveiled yesterday, but fiercely defended his decision to leave him out. "I'm a football man, I pick solely on football ability," said Pearce, who insisted that he would not have taken the manager's job if there had been any pressure from above to select the man so important to London winning the bid.

"If [FA chairman David Bernstein] had said there were certain individuals who had to be in the squad," Pearce said, "I probably wouldn't have taken the job, and I don't know any manager worth his salt who would. Right through the whole process I've had carte blanche [regarding selection]."

When asked why there were only English and Welsh players in his squad, Pearce again insisted that he had selected on merit alone. "I'm not picking on personality," he said, "I'm not picking on ticket sales and I'm certainly not picking on nationality."

Pearce said his decision not to take Beckham as one of his three overage players, and to pick Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards instead, had been due to shortages in certain positions and the ability of his chosen overage players to fill those gaps.

"It was probably the absences of one or two individuals in certain other positions," Pearce explained at Wembley yesterday. "I had to look at the under-age players and fit them into the system, and the availability of those players, and then look at the squad as an overview and say: 'Where are we short and in what positions?'"

An injury to Giggs, Bellamy or Richards could lead to Beckham joining the 18-man squad. A four-man standby list will be confirmed on Friday, but Team GB can change that up until the day before their first game against Senegal on 25 July. The stand-by list can include any player who was on the initial long-list of 35 players who did not make the final squad.

While Pearce said he had not yet been able to discuss the possibility of putting Beckham on the standby list, he was very confident the 37-year-old former England captain would be happy to be called upon if needed.

"I fully expect him to sign up to that and that not be a problem," Pearce said. "Because I know David as an individual and I know how passionate he is to even have a slim chance of being a part of [the Games]."

Even if Beckham does not make the standby list, he may still be found a role this summer. Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt said: "I hope in some way he will have some association with the Games and potentially the broader team."

Pearce added that there was no room for Beckham on his coaching staff for the tournament.


Get Adobe Flash player


Pearce's 18-man squad

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), James Tomkins (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Joe Allen (Swansea), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Southampton), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Scott Sinclair (Swansea)

Forwards: Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot