UK set for 2012 Olympic team

LONDON: Great Britain is set to be represented by the England football team at the 2012 Olympics after the other British nations agreed not to block the proposal.

FIFA, world football's world governing body, has set a deadline of the end of the month for all four British nations to come to an agreement over Olympic representation.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs all fear their independence in world football will be under threat if they unite with England to play as a British team at the London Games.

But the English FA are determined to field a team on home turf and an agreement now seems to have been reached amid fears that a continuing row would damage the home nations' international reputation.

A joint letter has been sent to FIFA saying that Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will have no involvement but would not prevent England from fielding a team.

Scottish FA spokesman Rob Shorthouse told the BBC: "FIFA had asked us to come to some sort of common decision amongst the four home nations by the end of this week - so that, when the FIFA congress meets next week, this deal was all done and dusted.

"We have not been able to come to a common agreement because England want to take part and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't. Our stance has not changed. We will not be taking part in Team GB.

"England do want to go ahead. They are under unique pressure with the Olympics being in their home country.

"We have to preserve our independent status as a member of FIFA. We are sticking to our guns.

"I think the English are going to go it alone. We'll continue our discussions with the home nations and also speak to people at the Fifa congress next week."