No place for football in Olympics, says Dai Greene
Tuesday 22 November 2011
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."
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