FIFA President Sepp Blatter was wrong to
suggest Gareth Bale could be banned for playing for his club
Tottenham Hotspur after pulling out of the Olympics, British
Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said.
Welshman Bale withdrew from the Games with a back injury,
but played in a friendly for his club before Britain's first
match against Senegal on Thursday.
Blatter suggested earlier this week that football's governing
body could ban the 23-year-old winger if the British team lodged
"I understand the response from some football fans who were
hoping to see him play as part of Team GB," Moynihan said at a
news conference in the Olympic Park on Thursday.
"My view is different. I welcome the fact that he has
returned from injury earlier than expected. I don't agree with
Sepp Blatter's comments about banning him.
"I think Sepp Blatter needs to get closer to Team GB."
The BOA said the situation with Bale was different to that
of triple jumper Phillips Idowu.
Idowu pulled out of training camp through injury and the BOA
have demanded to see his medical records to ensure he is fit to
"I think there's a very simple difference. Phillips was
selected for the team, Gareth wasn't," Chef de Mission Andy Hunt
"All I would say is that [coach] Stuart [Pearce] is very
comfortable with the team he has and we're looking forward to
them starting their first match.
"Stuart made his selections based on fitness and form, you
can't predict a recovery period from an injury.
"Gareth's missing an amazing opportunity which I'm sure he
will look back on and be tremendously disappointed about."
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