July 25 - The first major off-the-field controversy surrounding the make-up of the Team GB men's football team flared up today when it emerged that Welsh star Gareth Bale – who had withdrawn citing injury – played for his club Tottenham Hotspur instead thousands of miles away in Los Angeles.
Bale (pictured above, left), who was included in the original Team GB squad and would have been an automatic choice for head coach Stuart Pearce, scored for Spurs in a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles Galaxy in a pre-season friendly.
Pearce, who has already bemoaned the fact that he was unable to select from England's European Championship squad, was forced to replace Bale just before announcing his final squad, further weakening the balance of the party.
One can only guess what he must now be feeling but Tottenham's new manager Andre Villas-Boas (pictured above, right) immediately defended Bale who would certainly have started for Team GB either at fullback or, more likely, on the left side of midfield against Senegal tomorrow.
Bale, said his manager, was still clearly not fully fit.
"He came back to us during this week, so [we had to] control the amount of effort he could put in," said Villas-Boas who substituted Bale after 74 minutes.
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June 2012: Bale's London 2012 dreams in tatters as injury forces withdrawal from Team GB football squad
May 2012: Disgruntled Coleman expects "three or four" Welsh footballers to represent Team GB at Olympics
November 2011: Wales fans aim anger over Olympic Team GB at Bale and Ramsey
October 2011: Bale poses in Team GB shirt to fuel London 2012 speculation
October 2011: I won't stand in way of Gareth Bale playing at London 2012 promises Harry Redknapp