Rio Olympics 2016: GB women could have won Olympic gold, says Mark Sampson

England women
Great Britain's women reached the quarter-finals at London 2012

Great Britain could have won another Olympic gold had the women's football team been allowed to compete, believes England head coach Mark Sampson.

The four national football associations were unable to agree on sending Great Britain teams to Rio.

Sampson, who led England to a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup, described the situation as "frustrating".

"I've watched the tournament and I believe this team would have won the gold medal," he said.

"This group of players did earn the right to go to an Olympics and represent themselves and their country, but it's been taken away from them".

England captain Steph Houghton, who scored three goals at London 2012 for Great Britain, added that it was "very disappointing" to not go to Rio.

"That was originally our place - the place that we won at the World Cup, and it's hard, but at the same time there's no point about complaining we can't be there," she added.

England's Football Association had put forward the idea of sending Great Britain teams to the Olympics, but Fifa said it would need the agreement of the ruling bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who were against it.

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association's chief executive, has been among those to voice concerns that a Great Britain team would threaten the separate status of the home nations at future international tournaments such as World Cups.

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