August 10, 2008 in Olympics

Missing in Action

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Soccer (football) is really growing on me. How else to explain the hours spend in front on my television watching most international matches played by team England and USA. And while I can’t bring myself to support one of the English premiership teams I plan to attend a few Bromley FC games this season. The stadium is like 15 minutes walking from my house so I really have no excuse to go check out “the beautiful game” up front.

In any event, disappointed to find out the there will be no England or Great Britain team for that matter competing at the Olympics. Apparently, “the football governing bodies of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all opposed to the notion of a Great Britain team, fearing the implications for their own futures as separate entities.” Basically each association worried (perhaps real) that if they field a Great Britain team FIFA, the governing body could insist that in future international championships the National Sides merge into one which apparently is not be acceptable to the English, Scottish or Welsh. So while this is about money, it is also about preserving national pride. Because really, when was the last time any of these teams won a major international championship? Oh never mind!

Seriously! Playing for ones country at the Olympics is one of the highest honors an athlete could achieve, and to think that has been taken away from Great Britain footballers is a farce — Great Britain were Olympic champions in 1908 and 1912 and apparently have not completed since 1964. So here’s hoping that the various governing bodies can sort this whole mess out in time for the 2012 games. London will be hosting and it will be a travesty not to field a team since they get an automatic entry.

Of course, should Great Britain not get their act together, I’ll still have good old team USA to root for — they actually did quite well today against The Netherlands — until the last few seconds where they basically gave away a goal which equalised the game. So here’s hoping they can regroup and come back against Nigeria on Wednesday. With only 16 countries participating, this is their best chance to get a medal on the world stage.


  1. August 12, 2008 at 11:03 am


    There is too much money and individual national pride at stake for the teams to merge into one permanently. But lets hope they can make an exception for 2012.

  2. August 12, 2008 at 12:11 am


    I also think this is really sad, but for a different reason. Most of the top players in the UK are English. For the most part, these players will get to play in the major competitions, Euro 2008 notwithstanding. However, it’s tragedy for the world that a fine player like Ryan Giggs, who by no fault of his own, happens to be Welsh. He’ll not only never play in the Olympics, but also never in the World Cup as the Welsh is pretty shit, even with him on it. So I hope the UK integrates their team. It could be good for the people who created the sport.

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