BOA criticises Sepp Blatter over suggestions Gareth Bale could be banned from playing for Tottenham
Thursday 26 July 2012
British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan today criticised Sepp
Blatter for suggesting Gareth Bale could be banned from playing for
Tottenham during London 2012.
Moynihan claimed he could "understand" the anger of Great Britain fans who saw Bale pull out of the Games with a back injury only for the winger to take part in a pre-season friendly for Spurs.
That was almost two days before Team GB's opening Olympic match against Senegal tonight and sparked widespread criticism of the 23-year-old.
Moynihan said: "I understand the response from some football fans who were hoping to see him play as part of Team GB.
"My view is different.
"I welcome the fact that he has returned from injury earlier than expected."
He added: "I don't agree with Sepp Blatter's comments about banning him.
"I think Sepp Blatter needs to get closer to Team GB."
Britain's men will kick off a day after their female counterparts got the Olympic hosts off to a successful start against New Zealand.
Moynihan was at the Mansion House last night when the result came in and said he had "never heard such a raucous noise" in the building.
He added: "It's lifted the whole atmosphere around Team GB in the Village.
"I think in their own right the women are going to be history makers for Team GB."
BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt said: "Any athletes who weren't in training were watching and listening to the matches."
The situation with Bale was compared to that which saw Wayne Rooney named in England's European Championship squad despite being suspended for two matches.
Hunt said: "Stuart [Pearce] made that selection based on fitness and form.
"You can't ever predict recovery from injury.
"Gareth, in some ways, is missing an amazing opportunity.
"He wasn't fit at the time.
"You see the comments back from the players. Their eyes have been opened to the importance of the Olympics."
Hunt was pressed on why the BOA had demanded the medical records of injured triple-jumper Phillips Idowu and not those of Bale.
"There's a very simple difference," Hunt said.
"Phillips is selected for the team.
"Gareth wasn't selected because he wasn't available."
He added: "We leave the selection down to the sports.
"It's not for me to interfere with the selection process."
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Mario Balotelli comment: Time running out for 'lost boy' to shine at Liverpool, or anywhere
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'