October 20 - Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell were today confirmed officially as respective managers for the Team GB men's and women's football teams at the London 2012 Games, as revealed first on insidethegames.
A Football Association spokesman reiterated that, while the other Home Unions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had not softened their stance on releasing players for a British team, for fear of undermining their right to independence within the world game, that after "a huge amount of discussion" a working arrangement had been reached.
"While we are not suggesting that the other home nations are wholly supportive," the spokesman said, "they are now accepting that it is the right of players to be involved if they wish to be and if they are selected.
"And therefore that is how we are working."
Pearce, a conspicuously fierce patriot in a playing career that saw him earn 78 England caps, made it very clear that he would be considering players from all possible parts of the British game to be included in the squad of 18 - all but three of whom must be under-23 - that will be named next July.
"I'm certainly not coming into this job looking to only select England players," he said.
"I think it should if at all possible be made up of all the home nations.
"All the home nations should come forward and put their players up for selection.
"If players want to be part of it it will be fantastic, and I think they will."
Having managed the England under-21s at the last three European Championships, Pearce has on occasions been refused access to players by clubs, notably Manchester United, who recently refused to release forward Danny Welbeck.
Pearce accepted that as the Olympic tournament runs from July 25 until August 11, the day before the FA Community Shield final, clubs may be similarly unwilling to allow Team GB to call upon their players.
"A lot of that will come down to common sense and dialogue," he said.
"A lot will depend upon the mentality of the players.
"If the players want to be part of this tournament, which I think they will do."
Although next year's Euro 2012 Championships are the priority for England's players, the FA have refused to rule out the possibility that, if the national team fails to make it past the group stages, players could return to play for Team GB.
"I am very honoured," Pearce added.
"To be given the opportunity to galvanise our national game on such a massive stage as the Olympics is an honour for myself and the players and backroom staff who will be part of this sporting spectacle.
"I think if you take the role models that have gone before, like Lionel Messi, who actually went to court to get his club to release him to play in the Olympics for Argentina, that's a showcase.
"I think the announcement of myself and Hope as managers certainly sparks things off and puts the Olympics into the forefront of the players' minds.
"If I was a player I certainly would be looking to be selected for the Olympics.
"Major tournaments, especially on home soil, don't come round very often.
"I was privileged to be around for Euro 96, and the excitement that went around Wembley then.
"I think the excitement of the Olympic tournament could really generate something special."
Powell, who has been in charge of the England women's team for a record 141 matches, said she felt "privileged and honoured" to be chosen as manager of what will be the first British women's team to play in an Olympic football tournament.
"To be playing on home soil, and to have the opportunity of playing at Wembley, is a fantastic opportunity for the women's game," she added.
"The attendances at the games during Euro 2005 were a sign of progress for women's football in this country, and it helped provide a platform for what has happened since then...I think with the exposure and interest in the Olympics in this country we could see a similar impact from the tournament next summer."
FA chairman David Bernstein (pictured left) commented: "With their excellent track record and experience I am convinced we have chosen the best coaches for these positions."
Andy Hunt (pictured right), Team GB Chef de Mission, added: "With this announcement the teams are now becoming an exciting reality as the FA begins its player evaluation and selection process."
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