Ramsey follows Bale in Welsh push for GB 2012

ARSENAL midfielder Aaron Ramsey hopes he and several of his Welsh team-mates will be permitted to represent Team GB at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Football Association of Wales, along with their Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, are opposed to their players appearing for Stuart Pearce’s side as they fear that it will threaten their independence.

But Wales captain Ramsey has followed compatriot Gareth Bale’s lead by posing in the Team GB supporters’ shirt for next year’s Games, where he hopes to be a participant.

“If we have the opportunity to play, why not? You’re representing Great Britain in the Olympics. Having the chance to win a gold medal doesn’t come around very often,” he said.

“Players, if given the opportunity, should go ahead and do it; I don’t see what the problem is. I’ve spoken to Gareth Bale and he’s up for it. I think the Welsh are fine with it. It’s up to the players.”

Bale and Ramsey will both be aged 23 or under next summer, thus falling into the criteria for Olympic football selection. And a third Welshman Craig Bellamy, who could be selected as one of three permitted over 23s, believes Ramsey and Bale should be selected.

He said: “Do I believe one or two players... deserve the chance to represent Great Britain in the Olympics? Of course they do. For me it’s a great honour for them.”