Football chiefs bid to resurrect Team GB sides for Rio Olympics

Ross McLean
Follow Ross
Team GB will be back for Rio (Source: Getty)
English football bosses have confirmed their plan to enter men’s and women’s Great Britain teams into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Football Association (FA) has reversed its decision to scrap the British men’s side after it was controversially revived at London 2012, making its first appearance at a Games for more than half a century.

“We have received confirmation from the FA of their intention to enter into the qualification process for Rio 2016 for both men and women’s tournaments,” said a British Olympic Association spokesperson.

Both teams would have to go through a qualification process to make the Olympics, while world governing body Fifa would also have to sanction the proposal.

A top-four finish for England at the European Under-21 Championship in Czech Republic in June would confirm the men’s appearance.

The women, meanwhile, would be required to finish as one of the top three European teams in this summer’s World Cup.

The FA has written to its respective bodies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to ask whether they wish to participate. Home nations players did feature for Team GB at London 2012 despite their associations refusing to officially take part.

Stuart Pearce’s men’s side progressed to the quarter-finals three years ago before succumbing to South Korea on penalties at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, while the women also lost at the last-eight stage to Canada.