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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Saturday, 26 March 2011

England captain Faye White backs British Olympic team

Faye White
Faye White captained England for the first time in 2002

England captain Faye White insists women's football needs a British team at the London Olympics.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations want no part in a 2012 team, for fear of jeopardising their status in future tournaments.

However speaking to BBC London 94.9 White said: "It's purely for the good of the game we have the best players."

Arsenal captain White skippers players from other home nations and feels they should be in an Olympic squad.

"Certainly for Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie, or other players who played for Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland who are good, and who might never get a chance to play in a World Cup, it would be a massive opportunity for them, and also one that would strengthen the team, " she said.

What happens in the future, I can't really comment on but I would really like to see the team go and do well at the Olympics

Faye White

Following recent reports that two Scottish women's international footballers were taking legal advice on the possible repercussions of playing as part of a British team, the Scottish FA insisted its stance had not changed and that it was vehemently opposed to its players competing in a unified team.

That is despite public assurances from world governing body Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who said the international status of the Celtic nations would not be affected by their players turning out for a Great Britain Olympic team.

However, players can not be legally prevented from playing and the British Olympic Association says it wants a team selected on merit, not nationality.

White says she is sympathetic to the individual Football Associations' concerns, but feels that the best team in 2012 would be a British one.

"I think it is important that all countries are represented, and we put the best team in," he said.

"What happens in the future, as a player, I can't really comment on, there's all the politics behind it. But I would really like to see the team go and do well at the Olympics."

The women's team qualified for the Beijing Games in 2008, but were prevented from playing because of the same issue.

"When we had qualified outright to have a team it was very frustrating to see the Germans, the Americans, all those players going to Beijing to play," White recalled.

"So now that we are hosts I hope that I play. Women's football needs it."

BBC London 94.9's dedicated Olympic and Paralympic programme Towards 2012 was broadcast on 27 March between 1700 BST and 1800 BST.

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see also
GB football team 'can be united'
24 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Team GB stance 'protects Wales'
18 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Blatter's 2012 GB team assurance
05 Mar 11 |  Welsh

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