(WFI) The British Olympic Association has expressed disappointment at the scrapping of plans for Great Britain football teams to compete at the Rio Olympics.
“It is a disappointing outcome which primarily impacts athletes and fans – and prevents British athletes from having the opportunity to compete at the world’s largest multi-sport event,” BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney told World Football INSIDER on Friday.
As it did for the London 2012 Games, the English Football Association wanted to field men’s and women’s teams.
But the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football federations declined to support the proposal, claiming the united British team for the home Olympics was a one-off.
The three federations fear their independence within FIFA would be put at risk if they participated again as Team GB.
FIFA, world football’s governing body, had said it would not sanction a Team GB side without the support of all home nations.
The English FA formally withdrew its proposal to field two British football teams at Rio 2016 on Monday, writing to the heads of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations to confirm its decision.
Amazon capital Manaus was named as one of six Rio Olympic football cities last month. FIFA had been worried about the distance from the jungle city, a 2014 World Cup venue, to the hub of the Games in Rio – it’s around 3,000 kilometres.
But Rio 2016 organizers won their battle to persuade FIFA to approve Manaus as a host to help extend its World Cup legacy.
The 58 Olympic football matches will be played in seven stadiums: Belo Horizonte (Mineirão Stadium), Brasilia (Mané Garrincha Stadium), Manaus (Amazônia Arena), Rio de Janeiro (Maracanã Stadium and Olympic Stadium), Salvador (Fonte Nova Arena) and São Paulo (Corinthians Arena).
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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