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Coming up on Sport Wales: The TV programme

By Graham Thomas

FIFA President Sepp Blatter
FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has assured Wales of their international status

The Olympic Games came within 500 days for London this week, but the chances of a Great Britain football team taking part remain on the other side of the horizon.

The Prime Minister, the Minister for Sport, the Government, the British Olympic Association, the English Football Association, and the most powerful man in world football all want a combined British team to compete next year.

But even the assurances of Sepp Blatter given to BBC Wales in a press conference in Newport last week are not enough to convince Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

They all fear that a combined team will undermine their own independent status at some point in the future.

In other words, even the gold medals that could come their way as part of a British football team could be used by other nations as sticks to beat them with and eventually crush the life out of an independent Welsh XI.

This week's Sport Wales examines the whole issue of the GB football team and the roots of the Celtic suspicion.

We talk to Blatter, Football Assocation of Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford, Alan Shearer, Mark Lawrenson, plus Northern Irishman Brendan Rogers and Englishman Dave Jones.

Of less doubt will be that Welshman David Davies will be stripping out of a red-white-and-blue tracksuit next year before diving into the The Serpentine in Hyde Park for the 10k open water swim.

The man who won silver in Beijing four years ago meets us in Cardiff, fresh from winning the 1500m freestyle at the British Championships in Manchester.

Sport Wales

It was a return to form for the Barry boy who gave an honest assessment of his form when he decided to return from Loughborough recently to his original coach and mentor, Dave Halle.

"For Dave Haller it was like somebody knocked on his door and left a bag of rubbish there and said 'deal with this'. I was that bad last year," said Davies.

That's the kind of brutal self-analysis sometimes missing in more mainstream sports such as football and rugby.

But you can imagine there have been some plain words spoken behind closed doors in the dressing rooms of both Swansea City and Cardiff City as their promotion campaigns have stumbled over the past fortnight.

We round up all the action from the Championship in the week that Norwich City slipped past both Welsh clubs and into the second automatic promotion spot.

Plus, Lisa Rogers has been to Paris - checking on another faltering team, Grand Slam champions France who play Wales in the final match of the Six Nations on Saturday night.

Their coach, Marc Lièvremont, sounded more Charlie Sheen than Charles de Gaulle when he accused his players of "betrayal" and "cowardice" and of letting down the French nation after their defeat to Italy.

Lisa has been to speak to those French players on the receiving end of that rant at their training base in Marcoussis.

Plus, in studio, former Wales captain Mike Hall will share his verdict on the final weekend of the Six Nations with our man Jason Mohammad.

Sport Wales is on BBC TWO Wales at 1900 GMT on Friday.

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see also
Blatter's 2012 GB team assurance
05 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Classic Sport Wales
26 Jul 10 |  Wales
Follow Sport Wales' tweets
04 Mar 10 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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