LONDON: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has threatened that Gareth Bale could be banned from making any further friendly match appearances for Tottenham for the duration of the Olympic Games writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The 23-year-old had withdrawn from Great Britain’s Olympic squad because of injury but travelled with Spurs at the weekend for their North American tour and not only played but scored in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy

Blatter, attending the 124th Session [Congress] of the International Olympic Committee in London, said: “The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics.

“So far nobody has come to FIFA to say we should but it is a possibility we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team. They complain and then we say let this player go or he cannot play for the club. FIFA’s position has never been so clear than it is now for the Olympics 2012 and 2016.”

These are the first Olympics which FIFA has included within the regulations of the International Calendar which make it mandatory for clubs to release players aged up to 23 if required by their national teams.

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