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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
SFA softens Olympic team stance
The SFA believes young Scots players have no interest in the Olympics
The SFA says young Scots players have no Olympic aspirations
The Scottish Football Association says it would not prevent a GB football team from playing in the 2012 Olympic Games.

The admission is the first by the SFA, but the association maintains that Scottish players would not be allowed to participate in the competition.

The British Olympic Association's departing chairman Craig Reedie says he believes Scots should take part.

"If England, Ireland and Wales want it we would not stand in their way," the SFA's Andy Mitchell told The Herald.

"Our stance on being part of any such team has not wavered, but, the way the wind is blowing, a British team in 2012 may pan out. If so, Scotland will step aside.

"The board of the SFA and Fifa will have changed by the time the crucial decisions are taken, so never rule anything out."

I've never heard any footballer say that his dream is to play in the Olympics
SFA spokesman Andy Mitchell

Reedie, a Scot said he would like his fellow countrymen and women to have the chance to represent Great Britain, with Hampden being touted as the likely venue at which the opening match of the Olympics would take place.

He stressed that he understood the SFA's concerns that its individual identity could be affected, though he added that Fifa president Sepp Blatter had assured him that would not be the case.

"We are talking about a one-off Olympic football tournament for 2012 and I would hope they (the SFA) embrace the idea, and because it would help promote women's football too," added Reedie.

"As a major sport in the Olympic programme, it is incumbent on us to have a British football team in 2012."

Mitchell conceded that it was an "emotive issue" but added: "Young footballers looking to 2012 are thinking about the European Championship that year.

"Scots footballers are not talking about playing in the Olympics. The European Championship and World Cup are the pinnacle of a player's career.

"I've never heard any footballer say that his dream is to play in the Olympics."


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