Sebastian Coe disputes Alex Ferguson view of Olympics football team

 

Sebastian Coe has insisted Sir Alex Ferguson's young stars could benefit from being part of the Great Britain Olympic football team.

The Manchester United boss has said he does not want England players such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to play in both Euro 2012 and the Olympics.

But London 2012 chairman Coe said players such as Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi had gained valuable experience for previous Games.

Coe said: "I know that Alex and other managers will want their players to be fit and healthy for the Premier League.

"But actually Alex is a believer in Olympic football and I have spoken to him about it. That is very clearly Alex wearing his Manchester United, Premier League manager's hat and I know some managers will inevitably do so.

"But this is about prioritising. There are a lot of players that would like to play in the Olympic Games and there are a lot of managers that think it is an important part of the development of a player.

"I went to the Olympic final in Athens just as a fan. I watched Argentina against Paraguay in the final and Carlos Tevez was playing, basically making his international debut, and Lionel Messi played in the 2008 final in Beijing.

"So there is an extraordinary opportunity for young players and a lot of countries do use the Olympic tournament as a way of giving young players that tournament experience when it is probably less important in a way for them than their European or continental championships or even a World Cup."

Tickets for the London 2012 football tournament went back on sale yesterday with 1.5million available at the six venues around the country including for the Great Britain men's and women's matches.

The men's tournament is for players aged under-23, though each squad is permitted three over-age players, while the women's tournament is for players of any age.

There have been suggestions that Team GB coach Stuart Pearce may pick Ryan Giggs and/or David Beckham as one of the over-age players as they will not have been involved in Euro 2012.

Coe added: "That's all part of the process - having these pub conversations about who you would put in the team, but that is for Stuart Pearce to decide."

The matches will be at six venues: Wembley, Old Trafford, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, St James' Park in Newcastle, the City of Coventry Stadium and Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Coe confirmed that due to Olympics sponsorship rules London 2012 will to refer to St James' Park rather than the new title of the Sport Direct Arena, and similarly Coventry's ground will not be called the Ricoh Arena.

Coe said: "St James' Park is known around the United Kingdom, and around the world, as a football stadium."

PA

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea