Stuart Pearce: Players to dictate Team GB availability

Pearce: Players to dictate Team GB availability
© PA Photos
Stuart Pearce says that Team GB players should urge their clubs to allow them to play at the Games.

New Team GB Olympic football coach Stuart Pearce has said that players should urge their clubs to allow them to play at the Games.

As the Olympics are not under FIFA jurisdiction and not part of the international match calendar, clubs will not be obliged to release players.

"I think this tournament will be dictated to by a groundswell of opinion by the players," said Pearce. "The players will dictate their availability to the clubs.

"I think they will be very, very excited to be part of this showcase of football.

"If I was a player, I would be certainly doing everything I could to be put up for selection. I think support will be galvanised as the months go by and the tournament nears kickoff."

Lionel Messi won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Games, but he had to take Barcelona to court in order to secure his release to play.

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