Stuart Pearce criticises FA over Team GB selection restrictions

The former England left-back has criticised the national governing body for preventing him from selecting players for the London Olympics who previously featured at Euro 2012
Team GB coach Stuart Pearce has criticised the English Football Association for preventing him from selecting players who represented England at Euro 2012.

The FA reiterated in April that no player who was selected for England's Euro 2012 squad would be eligible to play for Pearce's Olympic football squad.

The former Manchester City manager initially appeared compliant with the policy but has now criticised the approach for limiting the amount of talent he can select from and preventing the nation's players from gaining tournament experience.

He told reporters "When I'm expected to debrief my employers after the tournament I'll make it clear that there are one or two individuals not here who should be."

"Who would have loved to have been able call up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck and Jordan Henderson.

"I'll continually send the same message out that we have to take our best players to every tournament.

"Not just for the sake of the manager or the coach but for the players themselves; they have to experience tournament football."

Pearce's omission of David Beckham from his 18 man squad in June and the failure to sell tickets for a large number of games this summer has left an air of scepticism as to the potential success of the tournament.

However, the 50 year-old believes Team GB have the potential to capture the public's imagination and that success in the tournament could create a positive feeling for the whole country.

"I played at the World Cup in 1990 and 250,000 people met us at Luton Airport even though we'd been beaten in the semi-final," he said.

"That generated huge excitement. Then at Euro 96 it was football in an environment like I'd never known it.
"If these GB players get a taste in this tournament of what I experienced in 1996, they will be the richer for it, that's for sure.

"It blew me away and blew my family away. It was an experience that no-one in that squad will forget. It snowballed and the excitement and feelgood factor around the country was just enormous."