London 2012 Olympics: Stuart Pearce doesn"t have to pick David Beckham

Pearce doesn't have to pick Beckham for Team GB, insists Lord Coe



13:08 GMT, 24 April 2012

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has told Stuart Pearce he is under no pressure to pick David Beckham for his Olympic football squad.

Team GB were drawn against Uruguay, UAE and Senegal for the tournament which kicks off on July 25, but doubts remain over the make up of the squad which will take part.

Beckham played a major role in the bidding process for the Games seven years ago while he was still at the peak of his profession, and including him in the squad as one of the senior players has an obvious appeal to spectators across the world.

No pressure: Stuart Pearce does not need to include David Beckham

No pressure: Stuart Pearce does not need to include David Beckham

But Coe insists the decision is for Pearce to make on sporting grounds only.

He added: ‘This is absolutely for Stuart Pearce (to decide). He must pick the team on merit and whatever team Stuart picks will attract a lot of attention.’

Asked if it was important that the squad should feature players from all four home nations, Coe added: “If possible that’s important, but again (it must be) on merit. You don’t select your teams on a quota basis, you select on merit.”

On the draw itself, Pearce conceded it was difficult to judge how tough an opponent Uruguay for one could be, given the possibility that they could draft in high-quality over-age players such as Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani.

Pearce added: 'I wouldn’t dismiss anyone in the group, with the addition of three over-age players it can really contribute to a strong side. It will be tough, it always is, that’s tournament football.

American dream: Beckham currently plays for LA Galaxy in the MLS

American dream: Beckham currently plays for LA Galaxy in the MLS

'We’ll be looking forward to it and I’m sure our boys who are representing Great Britain will be looking forward to a tough tournament, but an enjoyable one.’

Pearce meanwhile is confident everything is in place for whoever takes charge of England at Euro 2012.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp remains the overwhelming favourite to be the permanent successor to Fabio Capello, who resigned in February, but it is possible that Pearce will be asked to stay on at least until the tournament is over.

He told BBC Sport: 'Whether it is me taking the squad or someone else the planning is totally done.

'I think they will be quite happy with the decisions that have been made over the last few months, both started off by Fabio and continued by myself, but everything is in place, someone could just walk through the door and take the squad tomorrow.

'It will be a benefit to me whichever way it falls. I’m more than happy to take both tournaments this summer, it would be a great experience for me and I’m more than happy doing both jobs.'