Various fans, politicians and sports-people all gave their opinions with regards to the creation of a team. A 2005 opinion poll published by the BOA claimed that a majority of Scots supported the creation of a British team for the 2012 Olympics. A joint statement issued by the official fan clubs of all four Home Nations voiced their opposition to the plan. Various prominent politicians also offered their opinion as to whether there should be a British team in the 2012 Olympics. Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated during the 2008 Olympics that he wanted a British team and would work towards that happening, although he acknowledged that it could affect the autonomy of the Home Nations. First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond then stated his opposition to a British team, arguing that Brown must be "seriously out of touch with Scotland" to support it.
The FA released a supporters' shirt for fans of Team GB
FIFA President Sepp Blatter initially assured each of the British Associations that their status would not be affected by fielding a combined team in 2012. The SFA refused to change its position, arguing that Blatter's personal opinion and permission might not matter once he has left office, and that they did not wish to jeopardise their status. Blatter seemed to change his view in March 2008, when he stated that "they should enter only a team composed of players from England" and he suggested that the independent status of the four British associations could be harmed by a unified team. UEFA chief executive David Taylor, a former chief executive of the SFA, said in August 2008 that a British Olympic team would threaten the existence of the individual home nations. Taylor also said that the unique status of the Home Nations had come under attack before from other FIFA members, and that it was "difficult to see what guarantees could be given" to protect that status. At a conference held in conjunction with the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, the prospect of a UK team for the 2012 Olympics was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee, who gave their approval.
||The executive committee confirmed that the participation in the 2012 London Olympic Games of a single team representing Great Britain would not affect the existing individual status of the four British football associations. For the Olympic Games, they have to play in one entity. The ball is now in their turf. We expect a solution that will be presented to us for the month of March.
From the world of sport, world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene said that he felt that there should not be an Olympic football tournament because the Olympics is not the pinnacle of that sport. He also expressed fears that coverage of the football team would overshadow interest in the other competitors. Sebastian Coe, the director of the 2012 Olympics, regularly spoke out in support of the team.
A compromise was eventually reached between the four associations, whereby a squad of English players only would represent the United Kingdom. The football associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales sent a joint letter to FIFA stating that they would not participate, but that they would not object to England participating alone. This agreement was challenged by the BOA, who wanted to select players from all four countries and claimed it would be potentially discriminatory to only select English players. Jim Boyce stated that there is no legal restriction on players being selected by the BOA and the SFA admitted that it would have no legal grounds to prevent Scottish players from participating. It was then confirmed that the FA intended to select players from outside England. Eligible non-English players such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey expressed their desire to play in the squad, having posed for a photo-shoot wearing the replica shirts of the team.
The FA announced in October 2011 that Stuart Pearce would be the manager. After this announcement, Pearce drew up an initial long-list of players who he wanted to consider for the squad, and wrote to all of these players to inform them of his choice. Pearce said that players who did not want to be included would be able to inform him of their wishes at that stage. It was stated in December 2011 that none of the players selected for the England squad for the 2012 UEFA European Championships would be selected, in order to avoid player fatigue. In January 2012, it was revealed that 191 players had been contacted, with 7 declining to be considered for the team. A further cut was announced in April 2012, with the shortlist of eligible players reduced to around 80. The final pre-tournament cut occurred in early June, when a squad of 35 players was submitted to FIFA.
Great Britain were placed in group A for the Olympic tournament prior to the draw. The draw was held on 24 April 2012 and added Uruguay, United Arab Emirates and Senegal to Great Britain's group. The final 18 man squad for the Olympic Games was announced on 2 July 2012. A pre-tournament training camp was held in Marbella, Spain. This included a training match against the Mexico squad, which Mexico won 1–0. All players in the squad played for between 45 and 75 minutes. The team then played one official friendly match, against Brazil at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough on 20 July, which was won 2–0 by Brazil.
Great Britain's first match was a 1–1 draw with Senegal at Old Trafford in Manchester on 26 July. Craig Bellamy scored for Great Britain in the first half, but Pape Moussa Konaté scored the equaliser for Senegal from a counter-attack in the 82nd minute. Their second match was a 3–1 win against the United Arab Emirates at Wembley. A Ryan Giggs header put Great Britain in the lead, before Ahmad Ali equalised. Scott Sinclair regained the lead with his first touch of the game after coming on as a substitute, and minutes later, fellow substitute Daniel Sturridge chipped the UAE's goalkeeper to make it 3–1. Sturridge scored again in the 1–0 victory against Uruguay in their final group game.
In the knockout stage, Great Britain played South Korea in the quarterfinal round. The match went to a penalty shoot-out after the score was 1–1, after extra time. Great Britain lost the shoot-out 4–5 after Sturridge missed Britain's fifth attempt, while South Korea converted all five of their attempts.
During the 2012 tournament some players such as Ryan Giggs and some members of the British Olympic Association expressed a desire to enter a football team in future Olympics. As of Great Britain's elimination from the 2012 Olympics, however, there are currently no public plans to reform the team for future Olympic Games. Alex Horne, in his role as chief-executive of the FA, has stated that the FA would not support a future men's football team at the Olympics. The problem facing any possible future Great Britain team is that there is no mechanism for it to qualify, as the individual home nations compete in the qualifying competition.
The official kit for the 2012 Olympics, designed by Stella McCartney and manufactured by Adidas, was unveiled alongside the uniform for all Team GB Olympic competitors in March. The front of the shirt is modelled on the right-hand side of a union flag, with the colours consisting of white and various shades of blue in keeping with the design of the uniforms in other sports. The back of the shirt is navy blue, as are the shorts and socks. The kit has a red trim. The change kit is pale blue and white, with varying shades displaying the same union flag design as the home kit. The crest is on the left breast of the shirt, and consists of a white shield with the generic Team GB logo in blue, with the words London 2012 below it.
The composition of the team has varied over time. All players in the 1908, 1912, 1920 and 1956 squads were English, while in other years players from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were all included. The 2012 squad contained 13 English and 5 Welsh players but no Scottish or Northern Irish players. Jack Butland, the third choice goalkeeper for England, was the only player selected for both the Olympics and the England Euro 2012 squad. Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards were selected as the three overage players. Former England captain David Beckham was shortlisted for the Olympics, but was left out of the final squad.
London 2012 squad
The Great Britain squad for the 2012 Olympic Games was announced on 2 July 2012, with Ryan Giggs named as captain.
- The three overage players are denoted with a *.
- Clubs listed are those which held the player's registration during the Olympics.
Records and statistics
Full Olympic record
This is a full round-up of Great Britain's performances at the Olympic Games.
- Note: As of 1948, many Eastern Bloc states, such as Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, played with their full national sides in the Olympics, while Britain always competed with an amateur team, as per Olympic requirements. 
- Note: Britain lost 5–3 on aggregate, but earned a reprieve to compete in Melbourne. 
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