Rio 2016: GB football team omission disappointing - FA

Team GB women at London 2012
Team GB women played a group game in front of a record crowd of 70,584 at London 2012

The Football Association says it is "disappointed" a Great Britain football team will not compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The English FA wanted to field men's and women's teams at the Games but the plans provoked strong opposition from the other home nations.

"We are disappointed not to be able to go ahead, given the fantastic opportunity it would have afforded the players and the broader exposure it would have brought to the game in our countries," said an FA spokesperson.

On Monday, it was confirmed the proposal had been formally withdrawn.

GB entered men's and women's teams at London 2012, with both sides knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

Several players from the home nations featured for Team GB in London despite Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland refusing to give their official backing.

Manchester City and 39-times capped Wales forward Natasha Harding tweeted her reaction to the decision, saying: "Being Welsh and maybe having an opportunity to represent Great Britain at an Olympics would've been a dream. Now that's been taken away."

Team GB at London 2012
Five Welsh players made Team GB men's squad at London 2012, despite opposition from the FAW

Former Wales captain Jess Fishlock told BBC Radio Wales she has mixed feelings about the opposition: "I'm not all that surprised as I knew the FAW are against it for their own reasons and their reasons are justifiable.

"But then from a playing point of view and to see what the Olympics in 2012 did for women's football, it's a shame, it's a really big shame.

"In the women's game it is classed as a major tournament, as big as the World Cup."

However, Scotland head coach Anna Signeul believes there is no need for British football to be represented at the Games.

"I thought last time was a one off because we were hosting, so for me it was a surprise when England came out and said they wanted to be a part of the Olympics again," she told BBC Scotland.

"We have the same opinion as we had of it last time: we don't support it but if the players want to take part, we would be positive towards it.

"I think the raised profile came because it was hosted in London. I can't see it being the same profile in Rio."

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