Powell - Up to players for 2012 Games
April 24, 2012 09:08 am
Great Britain coach Hope Powell intends to select a fully integrated squad for this summer's tournament and let the players decide if they want to be involved.
Powell will learn Britain's group stage opponents for this summer's Games when the draw is made at lunchtime.
However, she cannot know for certain the players she wants will be available as the issue over whether Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish players will make themselves available is yet to be resolved.
Scotland skipper Julie Fleeting has already asked not to be considered and Powell has come to a straightforward decision.
She will select the players and if they wish to withdraw, that is up to them.
"It is going to be a GB squad and I will pick the best players," she said. "I have absolute authority to pick the players I want and have had people looking at all the countries. If, for whatever reason, they decide not to make themselves available, I can't do anything about that."
Yet the Football Association are not quite off the hook in these political arguments.
For, as Powell acknowledges, she was denied the chance to represent Britain as a player and a coach at previous Games' because the FA refused to accept entry even though England had qualified.
And there has still been no word as to whether this summer's tournament marks a permanent change in that philosophy.
"I was just a player in 96 and didn't really know what was going on," she said. "In 2007 we came third in Europe and qualified, but obviously there were political debates which I wasn't privy. You want to be part of the Olympics, so it was disappointing. All the players felt the same. But there was this political thing going on, and so you had to accept it."
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