What’s more important to England: Euro 2012 or the Olympics?


2012 will be a big year for sport in the UK, with the London Olympics and the European football championships taking place between June and August. With Great Britain putting a football team forward for the Olympic games for the first time since 1972, they have a great chance of success. The FA however has stipulated that players can only play in one international tournament a year, raising the question what is more important Euro 2012 or the London Olympics?

The FA have said that England’s elite players may take part in the Olympic games only if they fail to qualify for the Euros in Poland and Ukraine.

England as ever, has every chance of coming away with something at next summer’s European championship. However Fabio Capello’s men face a tough challenge, who if they qualify may come up against current World and European champions Spain, close favorites Germany or even a revitalized French side who have all outclassed England at some point over the last two years.

With England yet to lift the trophy, it seems the FA are prioritizing the Euros above the Olympics. Players are firstly under obligation to the side that will compete in Poland and Ukraine. Capello who will most likely name a familiar side of players who have failed to make an impact internationally whilst at the same time enlisting some of England’s younger stars which will rule them out of competing in London several weeks later.

The whole situation is problematic for both clubs and country. The Olympic games will delay the start of 2012-2013 Premier League season and could cause further delays as players who play during those games will need a resting period. So it is likely that player call-ups for the Olympics will face stiff opposition from club managers.

The situation also causes problems for the national side as Fabio Capello and Olympic team manager Stuart Pearce may clash over player call-ups. The condition of the GB team is still very much unclear with other home nations refusing to get involved. Doubts about Scotland, Ireland and Wales’ involvement could jeopardize team GB’s eligibility to compete.

Speaking as a British fan of football, it is in the best interest of Great Britain as a whole to solve these disputes. Teams from outside of Europe will be fielding full strength teams and as not every British player will be eligible to play our best chance of success is a well-combined team.

Looking at team GB’s chance of success at the Olympics, if players were permitted to play in either tournament the Olympic roaster could boast the likes of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, Everton full back Seamus Coleman and 19 year old Arsenal star Jack Wilshire as part of the same team. Not a bad prospect to compete with some of the stars from outside Europe who are set to take the field next summer.

In the past players have spoken out against not being allowed to play in the Olympic games. Notably in 2008 when Lionel Messi spoke out against Argentina’s decision to bar him from playing in Beijing. Messi was eventually allowed to play went on to help Argentina win the tournament and returned with an Olympic gold medal.

Players and clubs will have much say in the lead up to the summer of 2012 but the power ultimately lies with The FA. It all depends on what they consider more important for football in England, Olympic gold or a European championship. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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  • Tom Mooney says:

    Firstly, it obvious that Euro 2012 is the most important. I don’t really understand the premise of the article. Secondly, Seamus Coleman would not be able to represent a GB football team in the Olympics. He is Irish, and has represented the Republic of Ireland at full international level. Your correspondent seems to have a slight problem understanding the nuances of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NORTHERN Ireland. Unless the Queen’s trip had an ulterior motive? Jokes aside, if the trend continues of forming a GB team for Olympics, by 2016 it may not even include Scottish players if Alex Salmond has his way. Then again, would any even get in the team?

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