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FAW's Olympic stance frustrates Gwennan Harries

Gwennan Harries
Harries has won 35 caps for Wales

Wales striker Gwennan Harries has voiced disappointment that she will not be allowed to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Teams representing Great Britain will compete in the men's and women's tournaments at the London games.

The Football Association of Wales are against any of the country's players representing Great Britain in 2012.

But Harries, who scored in Wales' 4-2 defeat against Scotland on Sunday, is disappointed with the FAW's stance.

Wales, along with Scotland and Northern Ireland, fear their independent status within world governing body Fifa could be jeopardised if they participate.

"When it was announced that it will probably be the English team that competes I've got to admit I was very disappointed," said Harries, who plays for Everton.

"I've actually competed for Great Britain before with the students. It's always been an ambition of mine.

"If there's someway it could be changed then I think it would be brilliant for all the players.

"I understand the Football Associations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales want to stand and go with their beliefs.

"But for players an Olympic Games is such a big occasion that I don't think any athlete would turn down the opportunity."

Last month Wales and Spurs winger Gareth Bale reportedly expressed his interest in playing for Team GB.

But the Football Association of Wales reiterated that Welsh players will not be allowed to play for Great Britain.

"Our position on this has not changed and is unlikely to change," said FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford. "There is no drive for us to change our position."

The British Olympic Association insist, however, it would be discriminatory if the FA refused to select players from any of the other home nations.

"We haven't been in a situation where anybody has been approached [by a player wanting to feature at the Olympics]," added Ford.

"Let's take one step at a time and if we get to that we will have the discussion at that time."

The 2012 Olympic Games women's football tournament will kick off at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, July 25 at 1600 BST.

The match in Cardiff will be the first event of the Games, two days before the opening ceremony on 27 July.

And Harries says the staging of women's matches at the Millennium Stadium is "fantastic" for the game in Wales.

"The Millennium Stadium is one of the best in the world," said Harries, who has won 35 caps for her country.

"For the girls we're not as fortunate as the men to play in stadiums like that. It will be a fantastic occasion for the players.

"For Welsh football it's great that our stadiums are being used."

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see also
Wales Women 2-4 Scotland Women
13 Feb 11 |  Women
Davies delight at Olympic opener
15 Feb 11 |  London 2012

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