Team GB Football set for extremely attractive double header
April 26, 2012 11:51 am
In preparation for their participation at London 2012, Team GB Football will see an extremely attractive double header taking place in the North East of England in July.
Team GB Women, coached by Hope Powell, will entertain Sweden before Stuart Pearce's side face Brazil at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on Friday 20 July.
Fans will be able to see both matches on the same day on what will be the only chance to see Team GB in action before the tournament begins five days later.
It will be the first time a Great British Olympic football team has taken to the field in the men's game since 1971, a qualification match against Bulgaria, and the first occasion ever for the women's side.
Team GB Women, competing at their first Olympic Games will create further history as their opening game on Wednesday 25 July at Cardiff will be the first session of the entire London 2012 Games.
Team GB Men will be taking part in their first games since 1960 in Rome, where they defeated Taiwan 3-2, drew 2-2 with Italy and lost 4-3 to Brazil, thereby failing to advance to the medal round.
Great Britain has won two medals – both gold – in Olympic competition: 1908 London and 1912 Stockholm.
Hope Powell said:
"There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to plan and prepare for this tournament and the final warm-up match is a key part of that. Sweden are a strong side and we want that challenge to be ready for 25 July when the Olympics begins for us. It is a huge opportunity, both in this country and worldwide, to showcase Women’s football to a bigger audience and grow the game.”
Stuart Pearce said:
"I've learned a great deal about the Olympics since I was given the opportunity to lead this team and I realise just how massive an event it is going to be for the whole of Great Britain. In world football they don't come much bigger than Brazil and it should be a terrific occasion for us going into our first match. Middlesbrough recently hosted an Under-21 game and had a tremendous crowd, and I think particularly with the Brazilian connections on Teesside it will be a terrific turnout again come July."
Five-time FIFA World Cup winners, Brazil have twice won the silver medal at the Olympics, in Los Angeles '84 and Seoul '88, before earning a bronze medal in Atlanta '96.
Sweden Women's team recorded their best finish at an Olympic games in Athens '04 when they finished fourth. They have twice finished third at the FIFA Women's World Cup, and in USA '03 reached the final only to lose out to Germany after extra-time.
The double header will be the first combination of a Men’s and Women’s international football match in this country since 1989 when England Women played Sweden, and their male counterparts played Chile at Wembley.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “The Team GB Women’s and Men’s football matches in Middlesbrough will be a very exciting occasion as the women take to the field for the very first time as Great Britain and the men compete for the first time since 1971.
“Both Sweden and Brazil will present top opposition and will provide Stuart and Hope with an opportunity to test their squads against two of the strongest teams in the Olympic competition.
“Coming less than a week before the Olympic Games begin, these matches will also provide fans with a preview of the excitement and intensity of competition that awaits during London 2012.”
Kick-off times for the double header and ticketing details will be announced in due course.