Why is the Great Britain men’s football team not included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
What is the Great Britain men’s Olympic football team?
The Great Britain men’s Olympic football team, known as Team GB, is the men’s football team that represents the United Kingdom at the multi-sports event Olympic Games. They belong to the English Football Association and only compete in the Olympics. In other arenas, each football team from the United Kingdom will represent their own nation, including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What have the Great Britain men’s Olympic football team achieved in the history of the Olympics?
The team joined the first Olympic Games in 1900 but used club teams for the first two seasons. In the London 1908 Olympics, team GB first competed as the representative team for the United Kingdom with selected players from different UK countries. This year also witnessed their biggest win over the Sweden team in the first round, with the final score being 12-1 to Great Britain.
They also surpassed the Netherlands in the semi-finals by a 4-0 win. Team GB achieved their first gold medal as the representative team in London 1908 by the final win over Denmark (2-0). The table below will show you the detailed record of team FB in the history of the Olympics since their first participation.
So the Great Britain men’s football team have three times obtained the gold medal at the Olympics, once in their inaugural appearance as a club representative, and the other two as team GB in 1908 and 1912. On the other hand, their two biggest defeats were both by the Bulgaria squad. In the quarter-finals of the 1956 Olympics, they lost to Bulgaria by 1-6, and in the 1972 Olympic Games, Team GB did not qualify because of the 0-5 loss to Bulgaria once again. They have participated in 10 seasons out of 27 Summer Olympic Games so far.
GB men's football team in 1912 Olympics
Why are they not in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics?
It is always hard to arrange and manage a joint team like the team GB. SInce 2016, there has been no GB men’s football team joining the Olympics. The main reason was due to the complicated and unanimous decision between team members of the United Kingdom and this conflict actually arisen at the first Olympics in 1900. Accordingly, each home nation has their own separate football association, but the Great Britain Olympic football team has been only organized by the English Football Association.
The Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish associations attempted to reform in 2016, but they didn’t conclude with an agreement. Moreover, the English football team failed to get out of the groups at the Under-21 Euros, hence the disappearance of Team GB men’s football team in the Summer Olympics in the two recent seasons.
The development of the GB women’s football team
In contrast to the conflict in the GB men’s football team, the GB women's side is on the way to Tokyo 2020. This is the second time they have joined the Olympics, after the Olympics 2012, in which the first time both men and women sides of the GB football team participated in the Olympics.
The first matches of this Summer Olympics have been played, and GB women’s football team have had a great start by a 2-0 win to Chile in Group E on 21 July 2021. This was a pretty easy win for Great Britain, and the upcoming matches with Japan and Canada next week will be a real challenge for these women.
GB Women's team won over Chile in Tokyo 2020