Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has called for footballers such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey to be permitted to represent Great Britain at the London 2012 Games.
The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations insist they do not want any of their players involved and that the teams should be English-only. But Robertson said FIFA had given a "cast-iron guarantee" that selecting players from across the four home nations would not affect their separate status in world football.
Robertson said: "I would just hate to see any young man or woman denied a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because of politics. There is an absolute cast-iron guarantee from FIFA that the selection for Team GB will not put at risk their status with FIFA."