Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 16:13 UK

GB women set Wembley gold target

Women's football players from England and Scotland
Great Britain currently has no unified Olympic football team

UK Sport's head of performance believes a British women's football team should win football gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Peter Keen says a women's team winning at Wembley is "one of the ultimate visions of success for British sport".

Keen wants the football associations of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to act soon to make his ambition possible.

"There isn't a solution in place at the moment, because we're not really talking about it collectively as a nation," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

No British team has competed in an Olympic finals since the introduction of women's football at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and there will be no British team at Beijing.

Keen fears the women's game will miss a huge opportunity if a team is not formed in the next four years.

Do we want that [vision] enough? I'd want it for my daughter - she loves football, what an image

Peter Keen
"In 2012 somebody is going to win the women's Olympic title in Wembley stadium," he said.

"Seeing a women's team representing Great Britain win in our national game, in our national stadium - to me, that's where you start this process from. What would it take to do that, and do we want that enough?

"I'd want it for my daughter - she loves football, what an image. How do we bring that about? I don't know, but a no-compromise winning mindset would find a way to do that, because it matters enough."

Keen is widely credited with inspiring the renaissance in British cycling, where he previously acted as performance director.

He is now responsible for delivering British success at London 2012, but the creation of a British women's football team depends on the Football Associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In October 2007, the chief of the British Olympic Association, Simon Clegg, told the BBC's Inside Sport programme he was determined to field both men's and women's teams for 2012.

But opposition to the move has been strong, with the Welsh, Scottish and Irish associations putting up resistance.

"We would not want to compromise our national identity," Irish Football Association president Raymond Kennedy told BBC Sport last year.

Keen says the responsibility for overcoming that hurdle and creating a British team lies with the game.

"You'd have to have football find a way to make it work.

"The expertise is in this country - we're the fifth or sixth best nation in the world now. We should be winning that [gold in 2012].

606: DEBATE

"That is a vision of success and if you buy it, you work back from it and say well how are we going to do that?

"We've got four years and a few days. Is that winnable? Yes. Do we want it? Yes."


see also
Home nations dispute GB 2012 team
30 Oct 07 |  Football


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.