Euros or Olympics? English soccer players pick
David Beckham could be among the players with a choice to make
after England’s Football Association said players picked for the
2012 European Championship will not be selected for the London
Beckham played a prominent role in London’s successful bid for
the 2012 Summer Games and has repeatedly said he wants to play for
Britain at the Olympics.
The player with the most international appearances for England
also hopes for a recall to his country’s national team, so the
36-year-old Beckham looks like he could have a choice to make.
If selected for Euro 2012, does he add to his 115 England
appearances or join Britain’s first unified Olympic soccer team for
Soccer at the 2012 London Games begins just 24 days after the
European Championship final, an event that already takes up a huge
slice of the sport’s three-month offseason in Europe.
”We have agreed that any player who boards the plane to the
European Championship in Poland and Ukraine will not be considered
for selection to Team GB,” Britain men’s coach Stuart Pearce said.
”It’s a sensible football decision when you consider the demands
on players, and it now leaves no room for doubt for players and
their clubs about next summer and the two major tournaments.”
Some English Premier League managers have already expressed
concern at the potential demand upon their players.
”It is important to make clear what we have agreed regarding
England players who will be at Euro 2012,” Pearce said.
Beckham lost a spot on the squad in what would have been his
fourth World Cup when he ruptured an Achilles in 2010. He hasn’t
been recalled by England but has said he is still available and
eager to play.
”I will always want to play for my country, no matter what age
I am,” Beckham said last month. ”Even when I’m 50, I’ll probably
still be looking to be selected.
”That’s why I’ve never retired from England. I kind of feel
that if I’m playing well enough and if I’m needed at any point,
then who knows?”
Britain’s women’s team will play the country’s first Olympic
soccer match since 1960 on July 25 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium,
with the men starting their campaign the following day at
Manchester United’s Old Trafford.
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are recognized as
separate countries by FIFA and Britain has not played at the
Olympics since 1960 in Italy.
With such a long wait, many are anticipating the soccer
tournament – and the announcement of which players will be
England is the only one of the so-called Home Nations to have
qualified for the European Championship from June 8-July 1. So
Gareth Bale of Wales will not have a dilemma if selected.