No Olympics for Beckham

July 09, 2012, 5:42 PM GMT+0

British public & fans divided over Team GB Olympic football manager choice to exclude Beckham

A significant portion of the British public feel that Great Britain Olympic football team manager Stuart Pearce was wrong not to include famous player David Beckham in his Olympic Great Britain football team, with around two fifths opposed to his decision, compared to a similar third who support Pearce's choice.

  • 38% think Pearce made the wrong decision when choosing to exclude David Beckham from the Olympic team
  • 32% think Pearce’s decision was right
  • 29% don't know

Great Britain football manager, Stuart Pearce, recently announced the squad for the forthcoming Olympics – which must include 18 men with a maximum of three players aged over 23. Pearce selected Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards and left out the former England captain and World famous David Beckham, a decision which reportedly stunned many football fans.

Our poll of 1,762 Britons also shows that the 719 football fans who answered are themselves actually split over the decision, with almost half apiece on each side of the debate (48% wrong decision vs. 46% right decision), and only 6% not sure.

Selection shock

Until Pearce's squad selection was announced, it was widely expected that Beckham's pivotal role in getting the Games to London would be enough to earn him one of the three over-age spots in the squad. It was also suggested that Beckham’s presence would help to sell tickets, as a considerable number are still available for the Olympic football fixtures.

The GB manager himself mits that it was a big call to exclude the 37-year-old LA Galaxy player, but Pearce insists his decision was made purely for football reasons, stressing that he would not have taken on the role of squad leader if he had intended player selection to be based on sentiment rather than merit.

However, in response to the decision, former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson called David Beckham an 'icon', and said he was surprised that such an 'important' player would not be involved. "I would have picked him; put him on the bench at the very least," Eriksson told the BBC.

'Being the best'

Meanwhile, IOC president Jacques Rogge has defended Pearce's decision, saying the boss’s choice to omit Beckham should be respected.

“(Beckham)’s done a great job in bidding for the Games; he's a great personality; he's a very likeable person," he explained to CNN, continuing that "it's not an issue for nostalgia; it's about being the best athlete in the world in your own place, in your own sport”.

See the survey details and full results here