Ramsey highlights desire to play for Team GB by posing in BOA shirt
Thursday, 03 November 2011
November 3 - Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has followed Gareth Bale's example and reiterated his desire to play in the Great British football team at next year's Olympic Games by posing in a limited edition British Olympic Association (BOA) football supporters shirt.
The Welshman has previously said that he hopes to play in the team at London 2012, against the wishes of the Football Association of Wales, who like their Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts oppose the participation of their players in the squad.
Stuart Pearce, confirmed as the manager of the men's team last month, has said that he will look to select players from all four home nations.
With Wales having failed to qualify for a major international tournament since the World Cup in 1958, the Olympics represent a possibly unique opportunity for Welsh stars to participate in a major international tournament.
"If we have the opportunity to play, why not?" Ramsey told FourFourTwo magazine.
"You're representing Great Britain in the Olympics, having the chance to win a gold medal doesn't come around very often.
"Players, if given the opportunity, should go ahead and do it; I don't see what the problem is.
"I've spoken to Gareth Bale and he's up for it.
"I think the Welsh are fine with it, it's up to the players."
Wales' former captain Craig Bellamy has also waded into the debate by backing Bale and Ramsey's enthusiasm to participate in the Olympic Games next year, and he also believes the country will benefit by taking the event seriously.
"They are good enough to do it, if they do get the opportunity I for one will back that," the Liverpool striker told Sport Wales.
"Do I believe one or two players...deserve the chance to represent Great Britain in the Olympics?
"Of course they do.
"The Argentineans [and] the Brazilians have all taken it seriously.
"They've all played their top young players.
"I remember seeing [Brazil's] Ronaldo in 96 - Kanu and [Carlos] Tévez have won [Olympic gold medals].
"If we could have one or two involved in it what experience that brings our national team as well.
"When they come back to Wales the highlights and experience of going through that and what they then have to give to the Welsh national team, it will only benefit."
October 2011: Bale poses in Team GB shirt to fuel London 2012 speculation
May 2011: Welsh captain joins Bale in wanting to play for Team GB at London 2012