Pearce keeps Olympic options open

Mon, 05 Dec 17:14:57 2011

Stuart Pearce will lobby to take members of England's Euro 2012 squad to the Olympics if he thinks it will be beneficial for their development as international players.

Just three weeks separates the Euro 2012 final and the start of the Olympic football competition and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted last month that he does not want any of his young stars to take part in both tournaments next summer.

Ferguson is concerned they will not have enough rest for the 2012-13 season if they are selected for both, but Pearce told Press Association Sport he is yet to decide, saying: : "We've not made a definitive decision in respect to anyone who goes to the Euros and whether they will or won't feature in the Olympics, we will have a look at that nearer the time."

He added: "We might feel as though that's the way we are going to go forward.

"We will make sensible decisions. The decision will be solely based on the benefit of the players, the individuals concerned. We have always done that."

Pearce already faces opposition from the Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish Football Associations over the availability of their players as they are concerned that taking part in a British Olympic team may affect their independence in FIFA competition.

Many have criticised the idea of having a football team compete at the Olympics, but Wales stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have both declared they want to be part of the British squad, and Pearce insists there is support for taking part in the event.

"I am very excited about it and the feedback I get from the players is that they are extremely excited about it as well," Pearce said.

"We've not had a football team in the Olympics since 1960. To have it on our own soil is fantastic.

"All the players will benefit greatly by being involved in the tournament."


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