Author Topic: Powell appeals for Olympic place  (Read 919 times)

Offline David

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Powell appeals for Olympic place
« on: September 24, 2007, 07:06:29 AM »
England's coach, Hope Powell, will urge the FA to step up its campaign to force the International Olympic Committee to reverse the decision that deprived her team of the opportunity to compete at next year's Olympics in Beijing.

England may be out of the women's World Cup after the 3-0 defeat by the United States here in Saturday's quarter-final, but had they been eligible they would have earned Olympic qualification along with Germany and Norway in one of the three berths for European teams.

Powell and her players were informed earlier this year that a spot would be open to them, but the Fifa executive committee then declared that England were in fact ineligible to compete for Great Britain. Fifa run the Olympic tournament on behalf of the IOC, however, and the FA has asked both the British Olympic Association and the government to approach the IOC with a request to reconsider the decision.

Powell, who is remaining in China until the end of the tournament, said yesterday: "When we were told there was the chance of going to the Olympics it became one of our big ambitions coming into the tournament. Now we've become one of those top three [European] teams we deserve to be going and should be there."

Powell is determined to use England's progress to the quarter-finals as the base on which to build a team that can match the US, the world's top-ranked nation, on the field if not in financial muscle. While England's players are essentially part- timers, the 21-player American squad between them earn from football $1.7m (£840,000) a year plus sizeable bonuses.

The cohesion of "Team America" proved too much for England after Powell's team had edged the opening 35 minutes at the Tianjin Olympics Centre Stadium. A 37th minute injury to the England captain Faye White, whose nose was broken by the elbow of striker Abby Wambach, proved crucial as the Arsenal defender struggled to regain her composure and England were undone by goals in rapid succession from Wambach, Shannon Boxx and Kristine Lilly early in the second half.,,2175551,00.html