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The only Psycho for the job: Pearce to manage GB Olympic footballers

England women’s manager Hope Powell will take charge of the British ladies at London 2012.

Image: Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

STUART PEARCE MAY find himself in charge of an all-English football squad at next summer’s Olympic Games.

The England U21 manager was confirmed this morning as the manager of Great Britain’s men’s team for London 2012, with current England women’s boss Hope Powell taking charge of the ladies.

“I am extremely proud to have this opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started,” Pearce said at this morning’s press conference.

Both coaches will now hope for a speedy resolution to the dispute about whether or not footballers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should represent Great Britain at next summer’s games.

BBC reports that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs all remain opposed to their players lining out for Team GB.

Despite assurances from FIFA, the three national associations have argued that such a move could undermine the autonomy of the national side and pave the way for a united British team at full international level.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Scotland manager Craig Brown said that he would be “disappointed” if any of his international players decided to play at the Olympics.

We fear the autonomy of Scottish football would be jeopardised if we were to play and it would be selfish of the player.

Qualification for both the men’s and women’s tournaments is still ongoing.

Ten of the 16 spots remain in the men’s competition are yet to be filled after Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Belarus and Switzerland booked their places alongside the hosts.

Sweden, France, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Japan and North Korea have already qualified for the 12-team women’s tournament, leaving four spots still to play for.

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Niall Kelly

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