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Bellamy says Bale for Britain in 2012

Controversy is still raging over the creation of the Great Britain football team for next year’s Olympic Games. The Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish FAs remain opposed to their players taking part, arguing that it will undermine their independent status within FIFA. Some players are showing more enthusiasm for the united team.

Craig Bellamy, Liverpool’s opinionated Welsh striker, has joined the debate, suggesting that Welsh stars should be proud to be considered for Team GB. He believes that Wales could reap the benefits of players participating in a high-level Olympic tournament.

"If we're trying to qualify for major tournaments off the back of one or two players who have had that experience, it will only benefit Welsh football," he said. "When they come back to Wales with the highlights and experience of going through that, what they then have to give to the Welsh national team will only benefit us."

The brightest young Welsh stars, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, have already been pictured modelling the Team GB fans’ shirt, suggesting that they are keen to be considered for inclusion by the coach of the men’s team, Stuart Pearce. Given the form they are showing for their clubs, Tottenham and Arsenal, they would be certainties if players were picked on ability rather than politics.

Bellamy, for once, was too modest to put forward his own claims for inclusion in the Olympic plans, despite some effective recent performances for Liverpool. Maybe he realises that the over-age right wing position has already been earmarked for a certain David Beckham.

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