FA hopeful of fielding Great Britain football team for Tokyo 2020 Games

FA of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were worried about losing their independent status within FIFA if they played as a unified team.

By: Reuters | Updated: September 15, 2016 5:50 pm
football_reuters-m London Olympic participants team GB did not have a presence in the Rio Olympics. (Source: Reuters)

The Football Association (FA) is hopeful of a consensus among the home nations about sending a British football team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following discussions at the UEFA Congress in Athens.

Team GB fielded a men’s and women’s football team for the London 2012 Games, but did not have a presence in the Rio Olympics.

Last month, Bill Sweeney, the British Olympic Association’s chief executive, said meetings would be held with the FA to push the issue.

“I want to reach out and work with them and all four of us wanted to reintroduce the formal annual meeting where the four chairmen and presidents work together with our chief executives to resolve any outstanding issues,” FA chairman Greg Clarke told British media.

The Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were worried about losing their independent status within FIFA if they played as a unified team.

However, FA’s chief executive Martin Glenn said that would no longer be a cause for worry.

“We’ve had a discussion with the home nations this morning on a range of issues. The CEOs of the home nations are going to sit down and take a look at it,” Glenn said.

“The CEOs of the home nations are going to sit down and take a look at it. The big fear in the past was that if we did it we would jeopardise our individual country status.”

“That issue was sorted out under (former FIFA president Sepp) Blatter and (current FIFA president) Gianni (Infantino) has also reinforced it. That’s not the issue, it becomes whether it suits the interest of all the home nations.”