Fergie relief as Rooney is barred from Olympics if he is picked for Euro 2012
09:43 GMT, 22 April 2012
Wayne Rooney can't be considered for Olympics duty if he travels with England for Euro 2012.
The striker was believed to be one of 10 Manchester United players on Stuart Pearce's latest list for London – which has infuriated United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the Football Association have reacted swiftly to confirm no player selected for Euro 2012 will be picked for Team GB later this summer.
In training: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with teammates during Manchester United training
GB coach Pearce trimmed his
squad to 80 players earlier this week. It will eventually be cut down to
18, three of whom can be over-age players for the prestigious under-23
Rooney's place at Euro 2012 is almost certain despite the fact that he is suspended for the opening two matches in Poland and Ukraine.
'Any player who travels to Euro 2012
with England will not be considered for the Olympic GB team,' said Club
England managing director Adrian Bevington.
'This position has not changed. The
original long list of players was reduced to 80 players last week and a
final 18-man squad will be announced very soon after the Euro squad is
selected in May to assist player and clubs with their planning for next
'The list of 80 players does include
players who are regulars in the England squad and they remain on the
Team GB list until England's Euro squad is finalised. If they are
selected for Poland and Ukraine they will not be available for the
Wanted: Rooney is banned for the opening two matches of Euro 2012
Ferguson claims that with many
Premier League players expected to be involved in the Games, clubs'
preparations for the new season – which starts only seven days after the
Olympic final in London on August 11 – will be reduced to 'absolute
Last week Pearce,
still nominally in charge of England's plans for Euro 2012, cut his
Olympic squad from an initial 191 to a shortlist of 80.
Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Ben Amos, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans are down as Olympic possibles ahead of Tuesday's draw for the competition.
'It's ridiculous, utter chaos,' said Ferguson, who will also be losing players to the FA for the European Under-19 Championship. 'I have no idea how badly other clubs are affected but I would imagine Tottenham will have a few, like Gareth Bale. Aston Villa have a lot of younger players as well – that is all Alex McLeish needs.'
London Olympics: But Alex Ferguson is furious at the suggestion Rooney might play
Pearce does not have to name his
18-strong Team GB squad until July 8, seven days after the Euro 2012
final in Kiev. But England's participation in the tournament could be
over long before then, even as early as their final group game against
Ukraine on June 19.
The Olympic organisers, with an eye on ticket sales for the football tournament, would love Rooney to take part.
The 26-year-old has already expressed enthusiasm for being one of the three over-age players Pearce would be allowed to include in his squad.
The Olympic men's football final will be played at Wembley just 24 hours before the regular 2012-13 season begins with the Community Shield.
The Premier League kicks off the following weekend on August 18 and the FA are trying to organise an England friendly in Switzerland on August 15.
International boss: Stuart Pearce will be heading up the GB Olympic football coaching team
United have yet to confirm their summer tour schedule but they are in advanced negotiations to play in China and Korea and have discussed the feasibility of playing extra matches in South Africa. The absence of star players such as Rooney would be certain to disappoint the club's sponsors and commercial partners.
Ferguson said: 'We've got 10 players nominated [for the GB Olympics team] as well as David De Gea and Javier Hernandez. It's serious. This is the start of the season we're talking about.
'We'll be left with only one senior goalkeeper because Ben Amos has been nominated by Team GB and De Gea will be at the Olympics with Spain. The FA might also want five of our players for a European Under-19 tournament. We were intending to take them on pre-season tour. It's absolute chaos.'
Both affected: Alex Ferguson (centre) says Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish (right) will also be affected by Olympic call-ups
As Ferguson indicated, five of United's promising teenagers, including Will Keane and Ezekiel Fryers, will be required for the Under-19 Championship in Estonia in July.
England will play their final qualifying games in May but are expected to reach those finals. Ferguson will not be able to withdraw United players from the Olympics because the tournament has been officially endorsed by FIFA. But the world's governing body cannot force players to participate.
'I have no jurisdiction – it is up to the players themselves,' said Ferguson. 'But if the players don't want to go, there is nothing they [Team GB] can do.'