The Paris 2024 Olympics will showcase some of the best that football has to offer, but once again Team GB will not be taking part.
Great Britain have not fielded a team in the men’s football event since London 2012, while the women will also be absent in France this summer.
European qualification for this summer’s men’s tournament came through the UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023, won by England.
But an ongoing dispute means winning silverware did not book the Olympic place for the British team, with Israel and Ukraine instead qualifying alongside runners-up Spain.
Why don’t Team GB have a men’s football team?
Unlike the World Cup and European Championships governed by FIFA, the Olympic Games are overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In FIFA/UEFA competitions, each representative of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) has its own FA and therefore competes individually.
At the IOC, however, the home nations are registered as a single entity under the name Great Britain and accumulate medals as such.
British teams regularly participated, successfully, in Olympic football events in the early 20th century.
Great Britain won gold unofficially at Paris 1900, before winning gold officially at London 1908, then retaining its title at Stockholm 1912.
However, over time, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland allayed fears that their independence in FIFA/UEFA tournaments would be threatened if they continued to compete as a single entity at the Olympics. .
The British team’s participation in Olympic men’s football was discontinued in the 1970s, with only a brief exception for London 2012 since.
The Games being held at home ultimately led to an agreement to compete in a team consisting of 13 English players and 5 Welsh players.
There were no Scottish or Northern Irish representatives as the British team ultimately lost on penalties to South Korea in the quarter-finals.
Since then, no similar deal has been agreed for any of the three Olympic Games, meaning England’s victory at the Under-21 Euros last summer did not allow them to book a plane to Paris.
Why don’t Team GB have a women’s football team?
Team GB’s women’s team also competed at London 2012 but, unlike the men, have since been able to qualify for the Games.
While no agreement has been reached between the host nations for Brazil 2016, the women’s team is reborn for Tokyo 2020.
In both editions, they suffered eliminations in the quarter-finals.
The Home Nations deal sees the highest-ranked women’s team between the four attempts to win one of the three available European places that would be awarded to Team GB.
For the 2024 Olympics, that honor went to England, but the Lionesses failed to finish second in their Nations League group.
News Source : talksport.com