Hege Riise hoping Team GB will avoid chaotic start at Tokyo Olympics

The squad travel to Japan next month.

Nick Mashiter
Friday 18 June 2021 11:36
<p>Hege Riise during a training session</p>

Hege Riise during a training session

Hege Riise remains confident her Great Britain women’s football squad will avoid a chaotic start at the Olympics.

Team GB athletes face the prospect of six days’ hard quarantine in Tokyo under rules which risk harming their preparations.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson has confirmed athletes are not exempt from the Japanese Government restrictions which were imposed last week due to fears over rising cases of the Covid Delta variant in the UK.

Under the current rules, all Olympic-accredited arrivals from the country must immediately self-isolate in their official Games hotel rooms for a period of six days but Riise is optimistic the rules will be relaxed by the time they arrive in Japan.

We want to travel and go straight into training, if not that's something we need to talk more about

Hege Riise

She said: “This year we need to deal with everything which comes. We don’t focus too much on what might happen. We have a plan but the rules change all the time. The Covid situation changes all the time.

“We think by the end of us travelling we will be OK and that is the Plan A for us.

“We want to travel and go straight into training, if not that’s something we need to talk more about.

“We have a plan because of the rules changing all the time but we haven’t spent too much time talking about it. We want to be prepared for either none or a few days quarantine.”

Team GB play Japan and Canada in Group E after opening the tournament against Chile in Sapporo on July 21.

Riise, though, has already needed to replace injured goalkeeper Karen Bardsley with Carly Telford

Chelsea’s Telford helped England reach the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.

Telford said: “This is an amazing honour, although I really feel for KB and send her all my best wishes for her speedy recovery. The goalkeepers’ union is not a cliche – although we are competing to play, we always want each other to do well.

“I am so disappointed for her but of course tremendously proud to get the chance to play at an Olympic Games. It is an incredible honour and I will give it all I can.”