GB football manager Stuart Pearce was facing a backlash last night after controversially omitting former England captain David Beckham from his final squad for London 2012.
Ex-players Gary Lineker and Robby Savage criticised the decision, while some fans vowed to boycott Team GB matches, having bought tickets in the hope of seeing Beckham’s international farewell.
The veteran midfielder, 37, looked the one certainty to be named in the 18-man party but yesterday confirmed that he would not get to realise his dream, with Pearce opting for Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as his three overage players instead.
“Terrible shame for Beckham having given so much to the Olympic bid and football,” Lineker wrote on Twitter. “What I don’t understand is why string him along by including him in a short list?”
Pearce had included Beckham on his 35-man shortlist but trimmed him from the final squad, to be revealed next week.
Savage added: “Why was Beckham on the shortlist in the first place, then not to pick him! Disgrace!”
Football fans took to social media to express their dismay, with some insisting they would swerve Team GB’s matches in favour of seeing other sports at London 2012, which starts next month, as a direct result of Beckham’s snub.
The LA Galaxy player said: “Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they win gold.”
Everton’s Jack Rodwell is also set to be left out when Pearce announces his squad next week.