Legal fears over London 2012 Olympics football

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has warned that selecting an all-English team to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics may lead to legal challenges from players not considered for selection.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reached an agreement in May 2009 to allow the selection of only English players, with the other home nations concerned that a combined team would threaten their individual status with FIFA.

That deal was cleared by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, but the BOA are adamant that players are picked on merit, and Moynihan has outlined one of the main areas of concern saying the agreement would be in breach of the Olympic Charter.

He was quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying: "We would open ourselves up to legal challenges if the pool of players available for selection was England only."

The Football Association and BOA are set to meet early next year to try and find a resolution but the other home associations insist they will not back down from the agreement currently in place, although it is not clear what power they have to block players who agree to be selected.

A Scottish Football Association spokesperson told Press Association Sport: "While we acknowledge the comments from Lord Moynihan with regard to Team GB, we can state our position has not changed since we signed up to the agreement with the other Home Associations in May 2009.

"The Scottish FA, the Football Association of Wales and the Irish FA have already agreed that England would participate under the Team GB banner.

"There have been no further discussions since then involving the Home Associations and our reasons for not participating are well known.''

Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, added: ``We would love to submit a team - but it should be a Welsh team. There is no change from that position.''

United's head coach Thomas Christiansen at Ashton Gate. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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