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Smith opposed to Olympic football

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith
Smith is firmly against Scots joining an Olympic football team

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith believes football should not be included as an Olympic sport.

The SFA have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the notion of the home nations joining forces on a one-off basis for the 2012 Games in London.

"The Olympics should be the pinnacle of any sporting event and that certainly isn't the case for football," Smith told BBC ALBA.

"And you could present exactly the same argument for tennis."

Football has been included in every Olympics Games except the first modern Olympiad in 1896 and the Los Angeles Games in 1932 as a men's competition sport.

Women's football became part of the official programme in 1996 at the Atlanta games.

The UK first entered a football team into the Olympic Games in 1908 and continued to do so until 1972.

The British Olympic Association insist they are determined to field men's and women's football teams in 2012 and the Football Association are in full support.

However, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Football Associations are all opposed to the idea.

It also an Under-23 event, which means it's a discriminatory event

Gordon Smith

They fear it will ultimately lead to the loss of their status as an independent football nations.

Smith has now gone further, claiming football should not be an Olympic sport in the first place.

"It also an Under-23 event, which means it's a discriminatory event," added Smith, a former player with Rangers, Kilmarnock and Brighton.

"There's no other Olympics event that's got anything to do with age. Football's the only one.

"Why's it not an event for left-footed players or players who are 5ft 6in?"

Sepp Blatter, president of world governing body Fifa, has already made it clear that he favours a Team GB but reports suggest Michel Platini, president of Uefa - controllers of European football, supports the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Associations.

Despite not wanting Scotland to merge with England, even on a temporary basis, Smith remains determined to revive the annual fixture between the two countries.

He revealed there had even been an agreement for a match at Wembley last May but that Celtic and Rangers would not make their players available as they had tours planned.

Smith cancelled the game and was upset when it emerged the Old Firm were not going to tour after all.

"We were disappointed with that because we had resurrected the game and now it's difficult to fit in," he said.

"We are in discussions with England and, going forward, we will be speaking again about getting a Scotland-England game together."



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see also
GB will field 2012 team, says FA
06 Aug 08 |  London 2012
Blatter welcomes GB football team
04 Aug 08 |  Football
Ferguson not keen on London role
25 Jul 08 |  Football
FA wants GB team in 2012 Olympics
06 Jul 05 |  Olympics 2012
Wales mindful of GB football team
10 Jun 05 |  Olympics 2012
No Scots for GB Olympic football
11 Nov 05 |  Football
Home nations dispute GB 2012 team
30 Oct 07 |  Football
Coe hopeful on GB football team
12 Dec 05 |  Internationals


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