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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 15:58 GMT
Caborn blasts women's Games snub
Richard Caborn
Caborn says the decision to block the England team is a 'scandal'
Former sports minister Richard Caborn has angrily hit out at the decision to block an England women's football team competing at the 2008 Olympic Games.

England qualified for Beijing through their World Cup campaign in September, but Fifa said they could only take part if all four home nations agreed to it.

But the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Football Associations blocked it.

"We are officially the laughing stock of women's sport throughout the world," Caborn told BBC Sport.

"Some blazers sat around a table, without giving a reason, have denied those footballers a chance to play on the greatest stage they will ever have.

"It is a disgrace that they could not agree among themselves. It is a national scandal.

606: DEBATE

"That these nearly all-male organisations can deny their women footballers the chance to play in the Olympics is beyond belief."

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs have reasoned that they do not want any involvement in British Olympic teams because they fear it could lead to the end of their separate identity on world football's governing body at some time in the future.

A similar problem is looming over the football teams at the London 2012 Olympics, although there are two British teams entered in the Paralympics to take place in Beijing next year.



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