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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 23:37 GMT
Coe hopeful on GB football team
By Mike Burnett

Sebastian Coe
Sebastian Coe is still hopeful Wales and Scotland will take part in a combined Great Britain football team for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Scotland and Wales fear their participation could undermine their separate identities in world football.

Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee, told BBC Sport: "It's not a decision to inspire young players in Scotland and Wales.

"Like other issues, this is an ongoing dialogue, and the door is open."

The Football Association suggested reforming the British Olympic team in July and England and Northern Ireland have said their players will be made available.

Sepp Blatter, president of world's football governing body Fifa, assured the home nations that taking part in the 2012 Games would not threaten their status as independent nations.

But last week the Football Association of Wales followed the example of its Scottish counterpart by dismissing the idea.

Both home nations fear that Blatter may not be in power in 2012 and his successor may have other views.

I want to see a GB team that has membership from all four home countries
Lord Coe

Lord Coe said: "They've had assurance from Fifa that won't be the case, but let's just see, we're seven years away, we'll probably get there.

"Scotland and Wales have said no at the moment but that's a matter for the British Olympic Association and the home federations.

"Of course I want to see a Great Britain football team that has membership from all the four home countries.

"That is important for me because we went to Singapore (for the 2012 Olympic bid in July) talking about inspiring young people and I didn't just talk about inspiring young people in two countries, but in four."

Coe, who won a special award on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show on Sunday, also admitted he is searching for someone to share the burden of building his team for the 2012 Games.

"I'm in the process this week of picking a chief executive who will work alongside me as the chairman and will start building the team.

"We're 70-strong now but in seven years, we'll be over 2500. I'm hoping to make an announcement before Christmas and with a bit of luck have someone in place by spring time.

"It's a massive role, it is building a team, it is working alongside me for the next seven years to deliver the best Games ever."


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