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Tough Olympic football draw for Team GB

Wembley played host to one of the first significant events of the Olympic Games, when the draw was made for the football tournament.

There is considerable interest in Team GB because it is the first time a united British team has participated in the Olympics since 1960. Stuart Pearce will manage the men’s team, with Hope Powell in charge of the women’s side.

The Team GB men’s side were drawn against Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, the current South American champions, and one of the favourites to win the tournament. The Uruguayans are likely to include the Liverpool forward Luis Suarez in their team, along with veteran star Diego Forlan.

"You don’t know if it’s a difficult draw until the competition starts," Pearce said. That uncertainty is compounded by the fact that Pearce still has little knowledge of which players will be available for selection, and won’t be able to think about his squad until mid May at the earliest.

The Great Britain women’s team will face New Zealand, Cameroon and the formidable Brazilians. Their match against New Zealand will open the Olympic competition.

Brazil are determined to win the titles with their men and women, having never secured an Olympic gold in their illustrious football history. Striker Neymar says it is one of his dreams to win an Olympic medal.

That level of excitement isn’t yet matched in the UK. There are still 1.5 million tickets unsold for the Olympic football matches. The urgent need to sell seats might put considerable pressure on Pearce to bow to popular sentiment and include David Beckham in his squad.

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