Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart

Read more

WEB NEWS

Gaza children draw what their future will look like

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Catholic cardinals get coal for Christmas from Pope Francis

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande's Christmas wish list

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Embedded with the Islamic State Group

Read more

Sports

David Beckham left out of Britain's Olympic squad

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-28

Former England captain David Beckham said Thursday he had not been picked for his country’s football squad for the 2012 Olympic Games. Critics had long been afraid of Beckham stealing the London Games’ spotlight for himself.

AFP - David Beckham has been omitted from Britain’s Olympic soccer squad in a blow for the former England captain’s dreams of crowning his career in style.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder had been widely expected to win selection as one of the three over-age players in Stuart Pearce’s Under-23 squad for the London Games in July and August.

"Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me," Beckham, 37, said in quotes relayed by his spokesman on Thursday.

British media reports said Manchester United’s long-serving Welsh winger Ryan Giggs, Wales striker Craig Bellamy and Manchester City right back Micah Richards, who missed out on England’s Euro 2012 campaign, had been chosen.

An official explanation for coach Pearce’s decision has yet to be issued by the Football Association (FA).

The FA will hand a final team list to the British Olympic Association (BOA) early next week.

"As with every sport, player selection is the responsibility of the National Governing Body, the coaches and performance personnel," a BOA statement said.

"With respect to men’s football, the BOA has not yet received from The FA the list of players who are being nominated for Team GB, so we cannot confirm who is, and is not, under consideration for the side. We are expecting the list no later than the early part of next week."

Beckham, who has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan in a glittering career, was watched by Pearce during a recent match for the Galaxy and was included in his initial 35-man squad.

Beckham told reporters last month: "I don’t want to be picked on a shirt sale or a stadium filler. I want to be picked because of what I can bring to the team."

Beckham was England’s most capped outfield player with 115 appearances but has not played for the national team since 2009.

The world famous trend-setter now misses the chance to captain an England side at World Cup, European Championship and Olympic level.

Olympic ambassador

LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe said he would now discuss a "Games time role" with the globally recognised sports figure who played a role in London winning the Olympics.

Beckham has been used extensively in the buildup to the event and helped to bring back the flame from Greece.

"David has been an extraordinary supporter, probably our number one supporter, of the Games from the very beginning and is keen to continue his enthusiastic support right to the end," said Coe.

"He really gets this. He is from East London and knows how important the Games and sport are to young people."

"He is a great role model and we are lucky to have such an advocate. I will be talking to him about a Games time role."

As a result of the decision to leave Beckham out of the Team GB football squad, odds have been slashed for him to light the Olympic cauldron. British bookmakers Ladbrokes quoted odds of 5/1.

Critics, who believe football has an uneasy place in the Games because of the vast sums of money professionals earn, have said they would be uncomfortable with the Olympics becoming a "David Beckham show".

The Olympic soccer tournament, originally designed for amateurs but now the only Games event to have an age limit, is not so highly regarded in Europe where the World Cup and European Championship are seen as the elite tests.

Olympic football is popular among South American players, however.

Hosts Britain, taking part in their first Olympic soccer finals since 1960, will kick off their bid for gold against Senegal at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium on July 26.

The Welsh Football Association, along with the Scots and Northern Irish, have been concerned that the inclusion of their players in a rare British squad for the Games could affect their soccer independence but football’s world governing body FIFA has tried to allay their fears.

 


 

Date created : 2012-06-28

  • OLYMPIC GAMES

    Olympic flame arrives in Britain for 2012 London Games

    Read more

  • LONDON OLYMPICS 2012

    London Games torch lit in Olympia, Greece

    Read more

  • LONDON OLYMPICS 2012

    London marks 100 days to Olympics

    Read more

COMMENT(S)