Coe wants British Dream Team at London 2012
Sunday, 02 January 2011
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
January 2 - Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (pictured) would play alongside David Beckham for Britain at next year's London Olympics if Sebastian Coe's wish is granted.
Coe, the chairman of the London 2012, said that although he has no part in picking the team or coach, the tournament could ease the disappointment of England failing in the bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"We are not going to have a big international football tournament on domestic soil for some time so we want to use it to inspire a generation of young players," he told BBC Radio5 Live today.
"It is an under-23 tournament but you are allowed to play three over-age players and just picking out names that could be Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard towards the end of their career or David Beckham - or even David Beckham as a coach, though I have gone way beyond my brief saying that."
Coe has previously spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson about whether he would be interested in coaching the side, but stressed this was all on a personal basis.
He added: "It is not for me to decide, it is for the FA and the British Olympic Association (BOA).
"I personally feel Sir Alex Ferguson is the iconic face of British football over the last 25 years and I can't think of anyone I would rather have."
It is Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, though, who is currently the favourite to be given the task of leading Britain at London 2012.
He would be in an ideal position to persuade Lampard to turn out as he is the Chelsea player's uncle.
Beckham, meanwhile, who Redknapp is currently trying to sign on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy for two months, has made no secret of his ambition to be involved in some capacity at London 2012 having played a high-profile role in the successful bid.
Such a star-studded line-up would be in contrast to the last two occasions that London hosted the Olympics in 1908 and 1948 when the team was made up entirely of amateur players.
But, as David Owen recounts in an article published today on insidethegames, the teams were not short of quality.
The 1908 team that won the gold medal included Tottenham's Vivian Woodward, whose record of 29 international goals for the full England team stood until 1958, when Preston legend Tom Finney beat.
Meanwhile, the 1948 team that reached the semi-finals was coached by Sir Matt Busby, who was later to lead Manchester United to victory in the European Cup in 1968.
The squad included a young teenage goalkeeper, Ronnie Simpson (pictured), who in 1967 was part of the Celtic team that became the first British club to win the European Cup, beating Inter Milan in the final.
While the squad in 1948 included players from all four Home Countries the agreement for 2012 is that it will consist solely of English players, just as it did in 1908.
But the BOA have insisted there can be no discrimination against other British players.
Since then, the Jim Shaw, the President of the Irish Football Association, has said if individual Northern Irish players wanted to be considered, they would not be stopped.
"I believe the conversations about this have been pretty grown-up," said Coe.
"I have sensed there is an acceptance that we are going to have a Great Britain team that is made up ostensibly of English players.
''But I want the best young talent that there is around in a Great Britain team."
To read David Owen's feature on the British football team at the 1908 and 1948 Olympics click here.
December 2010: Northern Ireland players will be allowed to take part in London 2012
December 2010: Exclusive - BOA will not support exclusion of non-English players from London 2012 football team
December 2010: Bale warned by Welsh he will be suspended if he plays at London 2012
November 2010: Gareth Bale - "Let me play for Britain at London 2012"
November 2010: David Owen - How Gareth Bale holds the key to fielding a British football team at London 2012