Brad Friedel fires London 2012 warning to Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Co

31 March 2011 09:28
Brad Friedel has warned British players if they turn their back on the Olympics they will regret the decision for the rest of their lives.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs have said they do not want to be any part of a British team at London 2012.

Looking forward: Wilshere (centre) and Ramsey (right) would line up on the same side

But Friedel, the Aston Villa goalkeeper who played in the 1992 and 2000 Olympics, said the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and Jonny Evans may never get a better chance to perform on the world stage.

He said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester: 'I would advise them to play. 'I think if they are left out, in the future, because of that decision, they would regret it.

'I would hope a lot of pressure would be put on those FAs not to keep them out. It is an experience they should not miss.

'When is it going to be here again? Not in our lifetimes. It is the Olympics, a world event. People have to take that into consideration.

Friedel warning: The Villa stopper played in the 1992 and 2000 Olympics

'The Olympics are special, it is an under-23 tournament so you might not have the same talent there as at the World Cup, but for me an Olympic gold medal is right up there with a World Cup winner's medal.'

Friedel pointed out that in other sports such as cricket countries play both collectively and separately.

He explained: 'In cricket, the West Indies play as the West Indies, but in football they are all individual countries - it works in other sports, I'd like to see it work in football.'

Alan Curbishley, the former West Ham and Charlton manager, who was on the same panel as Friedel, said a solution needed to be found.

He said: 'It will be a special, once-in-a-lifetime occasion and I would love to see a Great Britain team with Irish and Scots and Welsh win it.'

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 Explore more:People: Alan Curbishley Places: Manchester, London

Source: Daily_Mail