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Bullies! Wales push Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale to snub Olympics - and Scotland follow suit!
Published : 23 Jun 2011 00:58:25
ShareGareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have been told by the Welsh FA that they should not appear for Team GB at the London Olympics. Tottenham star Bale and Arsenal midfielder Ramsey both Wales players have indicated their interest in competing at next year's Games. But they have been taken aside and advised that the move would go against the wishes of the Football Association of Wales, while the Scotland squad have also been addressed in a similar vein about the issue. Double act: But Aaron Ramsey (left) and Gareth Bale have been told not to appear at the London 2012 Olympics The British Olympic Association and the FA heralded an 'historic agreement' on Tuesday that would allow players from all the Home Nations to represent Great Britain next year. But they have only succeeded in sparking another round of arguments in the increasingly bitter debate over the 2012 Olympics. Although Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland know they are powerless to stop their players competing for Team GB, they are firmly against fielding British men's and women's teams, believing the move would jeopardise their autonomy. Count me in: That man David Beckham - who has 115 England caps - is keen to play in the Olympics Despite correspondence from FIFA, seen by Sportsmail, assuring them this would not be the case, the three nations fear a Team GB project would set a dangerous precedent. The FA are not concerned a British team would affect England's status as a football nation but, as one source said: 'England are not exactly the most popular country in FIFA at the moment.' Voicing concerns: Craig Brown Former Scotland boss Craig Brown went as far as to suggest Scottish players would be 'selfish' if they chose to play for Great Britain next year. 'You could jeopardise your opportunity to play for Scotland,' Brown told BBC Radio Scotland. 'There might no longer be a Scottish team. 'Are you going to put other players' possibility of playing for Scotland at risk by being selfish and playing? I've no doubt that they should not participate in this at all because it is the thin edge of the wedge.' The Welsh, Scottish and Irish football associations will not pursue the issue through the courts, but are instead putting pressure on their players to turn down the chance to represent Great Britain. The Premier League have not yet confirmed the dates of the 2012-13 season, but are expected to delay the start until after the Olympic football competitions end on Saturday August 11. Top-flight managers are, however, unlikely to relish the prospect of their players being involved in a tournament so close to the start of the campaign. The BOA have insisted Tuesday's announcement was not designed to boost flagging ticket sales for Olympic football matches, but the organisation has a vested interest in the success of a Team GB side, as it could cash in on sales of replica kits. The BOA would be able to market two pieces of 'iconic' Team GB merchandise under their deal with the London 2012 organisers. This could include football shirts designed by official kit providers adidas a move which could make the cash-strapped organisation millions of pounds. Great Britain: Sportsmail picks their top post-war teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern IrelandFootball Team GB is not a ploy to sell unwanted 2012 tickets, insists BOA chiefOlympic football team given OK but nobody tells Scots, Welsh and Northern IrishLondon 2012 will include a footballing Team GB... (but they'll be mostly English anyway) Explore more:People: Craig Brown, Gareth Bale Places: London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales, Northern Ireland Organisations: British Olympic Association, Football Association of Wales