Team GB want women's football side at 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
England duo Jodie Taylor (left) and Jill Scott
Jodie Taylor (left) and Jill Scott have been in impressive form
Women's World Cup semi-final: Japan v England
Date: Thursday, 2 July. Kick-off: 00:00 BST. Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

British Olympic chiefs will campaign to bring back a GB team after England's historic success in reaching the Women's World Cup semi-finals.

Plans for men's and women's sides at the 2016 Games were halted by protests from the Irish, Scottish and Welsh FAs.

British Olympic Association chief Bill Sweeney said he is "disappointed" there will be no GB football sides in Rio.

"It is absolutely our wish to have a football team competing for Team GB in 2020 (in Tokyo)," said Sweeney.

"We will therefore do everything possible to make this happen."

Team GB's women at 2012 Olympics
Went out in quarter-finals after 2-0 defeat by Canada (at Coventry City - attendance 28,828)Beat New Zealand 1-0 in opening match - the first event of the 2012 Olympics (24,549 watched in Cardiff)
Topped group with 1-0 win over Brazil before record British women's football crowd of 70,584 at WembleyCoach Hope Powell picked an 18-strong squad, consisting of 16 English and two Scottish players

By finishing as one of the best three European teams at the World Cup, England have already achieved the standard needed to secure a place for a Great Britain side to play in the Olympics next year.

The English FA were keen to take part along similar lines to the 2012 Games, but its plans were scuppered earlier this year after opposition from other home nations' football associations, who fear sending a team to Brazil would threaten their independence in the international game.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: "The decision that was made surrounding London 2012 was a one-off decision as London was hosting the Olympics.

"There was never any plan to have a permanent British team and we made that very clear, as did the Welsh and Northern Irish."

The BOA added there was no chance of resurrecting plans for teams in 2016 as the deadlines for qualification have passed.

"Not having a women's, or indeed a men's, team as part of Team GB is a disappointing outcome particularly given the recent performances of the women's team," added BOA chief executive officer Sweeney.

"It primarily impacts on athletes and fans and prevents British athletes from having the opportunity to compete at the world's largest multi-sport event."

England's last-eight World Cup win over hosts Canada was watched by 1.6 million TV viewers, despite a 00:30 BST kick-off, and they now face reigning champions Japan at 00:00 BST on Thursday.

Mark Sampson's squad are only the third England team to reach the last-four of a senior championships after the men's team in 1996 and 1990.

Views from the home nations

England - FOR

FA director of women's football Kelly Simmons said it was "devastating for the women's game" to miss out on the 2016 Olympics.

"Those sorts of opportunities for coverage and profile don't come around that often," she told the BBC.

Northern Ireland - AGAINST

A statement read: "The Irish FA has not changed its position from before. The Association was of the understanding that participation at the London Olympics was a one-off.

"The Irish FA believes that, when playing, our players should play in a Northern Ireland shirt."

Scotland - AGAINST

Regan said: "A significant proportion of Scotland fans have made their feelings very clear on the matter - they want to stay under the Scotland banner."

However, the Scottish FA would not stand in the way of any players picked for a British side, and had two representatives - Kim Little and Ifeoma Dieke - in the 2012 squad.


Several of the 2012 matches took part in Cardiff, but there was not one Welsh player in the GB squad.

Former Wales women's captain and WSL player of the year in 2012 Jess Fishlockexternal-link said at the time: "It does feel like a whole nation has been completely taken out of the equation."

England's current winning run is being overseen by coach Mark Sampson, a Welshman.