Greene: Kick football team out of 2012

 

World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene has criticised the inclusion of a British football team at the London 2012 Games, insisting "there is no place for it at the Olympics".

The British Olympic Association have faced opposition to a team from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish soccer associations because they want to protect their footballing independence.

Welsh athlete Greene, though, opposes the idea because he fears more traditional Olympic sports could be "overshadowed" by football next summer. "I don't think the football team should be there in the first place," he told BBC Wales.

"I hope that those big names don't overshadow those people who have trained for four years to be there for that one moment. These guys have four to five weeks off in the summer then become an Olympian. It does seem a little bit out of place.

"These guys wants to win Premierships, Champions League trophies and World Cup medals. They don't grow up wanting to be an Olympic champion, they want to be the best in football.

"The crowning glory in football isn't being Olympic champion so I don't think their sport should necessarily be involved – or at least at a professional level."

The former youth-team footballer added: "Most athletes would agree with what I'm saying. There's no place for it at the Olympics. When some guy wins a gold medal in badminton or swimming, they want it to be about them and their hard work and their story to get there. But sadly in some of the papers that might be overshadowed with what David Beckham had for breakfast maybe – and that is not a great story from our point of view. I'm all for players representing Team GB but I wish there wasn't a Team GB in the first place."

Meanwhile, England began the post-Fabio Capello era yesterday, nearly eight months before the Italian actually leaves. While Capello plots a Euro 2012 campaign that will bring an end to his time in charge, it will be left to other senior Football Association figures to try to thrash out a route to the 2014 World Cup.

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington will head an FA delegation, also including director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, for a meeting in Warsaw with their counterparts from Poland, Ukraine, Montenegro, Moldova and San Marino.

They will want June qualifying matches to be avoided, or at the very least long trips – such as the one that took them to Kazakhstan in 2009.

Key matches against second seeds Ukraine and Montenegro, who England twice drew with in Euro 2012 qualifying, will be pencilled in for September or October.

If there is no resolution, the matter will be decided in a random draw by Fifaat a later date. With only one automatic place for Brazil on offer, the man who replaces Capello – FA chairman David Bernstein insists talks will not start until after Euro 2012 – will have reason to hope Bevington and Brooking get their way.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine