LONDON: Tottenham wingback Gareth Bale will not be available to play for Team GB’s football side at the Olympics after aggravating a back injury in training. Bale, 22, was set to be named in manager Stuart Pearce’s 18-man squad being announced tomorrow.
The Welshman was due to be one of the star names in the squad, but following medical advice was forced to withdraw. It is the latest blow to the profile of the team after David Beckham revealed he had missed out on selection.
Beckham was expected to be one of the three over-23 players named in the squad, but former Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs is thought to have been named, as well as Liverpool’s Craig Bellamy and Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
Bale signed a new four-year contract with Tottenham on Wednesday but now faces a race against time to be fit for their season opener against Newcastle United on 12 August.
He had been a firm supporter of Team GB’s participation in the tournament despite opposition from the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
In May 2011, he declared his interest in playing for Pearce’s side and in October of the same year was pictured wearing the Team GB London 2012 football supporters’ shirt.
“I want to play in the Olympics,” said Bale, in May 2011. “I think it would be a great experience. You see it with the British and Irish Lions in the rugby, they come together as a unit and play against other countries. It’s great and there’s no reason why that can’t happen with the football.
“At the moment Wales haven’t qualified for a major tournament in I don’t know how many years so it would be nice to play in one against the best countries in the world.”
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