It is almost six months now since the London 2012 Games and the British people have been more than satisfied with the great achievements made by the British athletes. In football, both the men and women team got into the quarter-finals, losing to South Korea and Canada, which some say was a disappointing result yet others would disagree.
So what’s going to happen for Rio 2016? Are we going to see a combined British team? Well, despite the many negative statements from Alex Horne and Andy Hunt, many have expressed their desire to see Team GB return to the football field for Rio 2016, players such as Ryan Giggs and some member of the British Olympic Association. However, by looking at the former history, with no support from the FA, with no funding likely to be given and the complications over qualification, the future sadly looks very bleak.
How it all began:
The very first team GB squad competed for the 1908 Olympic Games held in London, which also was the first games where the teams used players selected nationally, won the the first Olympic gold medal in football. The team which participated in the following Olympics also won gold, but featured only English amateur players. As today, there was a dispute between the FA and FIFA, which saw the FA withdrawing the Olympic football team in 1924, 1028 and 1932.
When the FIFA World Cup was created, it was agreed that Olympic football would include exclusively amateur players, which lead to Team GB participating again at the 1936 Games using players from all the home nations. After a long break in participation caused by World War II, Great Britain competed in every Games from 1948 until 1972, qualifying for most of them.
However, after the FA abolished the distinction between professional and amateur players in 1974, it stopped entering a team. Even in 1992, when it was decided that Olympic teams could use professionals (as long as they were under 23 years old) – plus three over age players were allowed per squad, all the years up to the day London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games no GB team entered.