'Door open for Team GB'
The FA has left the door open for a potential Team GB side to take part in the Women’s football tournament in Rio 2016 according to Adrian Bevington, Managing Director of Club England.
Earlier this week, FA General Secretary Alex Horne suggested that it was ‘unlikely’ that Team GB would be represented in football at the next Olympic Games.
However, Bevington insists that there is an appetite within Wembley Stadium for a women’s team to compete in Brazil in four years’ time, but there are still discussions to be had.
“Alex [Horne] probably did more than anybody to make sure we had teams taking part this summer,” explained Bevington. “It was a very complex process with the other home nations not really wanting Team GB to take part.
“So it’s not straightforward for us to just wade in and say it can happen or it can’t happen, and there’s a lot of football politics to go on before it can. What I would say, from a personal point of view, is the football tournament was a very strong tournament and the crowds were incredible.”
Indeed, Hope Powell’s Team GB Women’s side played in front a British record crowd for a women’s football match of 70,584 in their group game against Brazil at Wembley. In total, over 150,000 fans saw them in their four games before Team GB suffered quarter-final defeat to Canada.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show on TalkSPORT, Bevington added: “From a women’s side of things it would be fantastic if we could have a women’s team taking part in Rio at the next Olympic games as it’s undoubtedly the pinnacle of women’s international football , in conjunction with the World Cup as well.
“I know that the girls took so much out of it, and it’s lifted the profile of the women’s game in this country. So there are conversations that we’ve got to have both internally then with various other people from around the game to see where we can take that.
“But we’re not closing the door on it, we would be very keen to see the women’s team take part in future Olympic games.”