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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Beckham's out - the right choice

Big old hoo-ha about David Beckham not being picked for the England Olympic soccer team. Last week The Times had an editorial about it, calling for one of the other players to surrender his place to allow Beckham to play. Today India Knight in the Sunday Times weighed in, saying he should be playing.

I don't normally agree with the Daily Mail but I'm with their sports writer who said it was the right decision. The Olympics is about the best in sporting performance and achievement. Beckham is 37 and over the hill. He chose to go to what's effectively a division 3 team, LA Galaxy, to make money. Olympic team manager Stuart Pearce went to the US twice to watch him and clearly wasn't impressed.

It doesn't matter that Beckham has been a tireless ambassador for the Olympics and the London bid. There are other rewards more suitable. He might be the one lighting the cauldron at the opening ceremony. He will probably be knighted at some point. But to say he should be playing, in the twilight of his career, is as ludicrous as suggesting Lord Coe should represent us in the 1500 metres again. Being a celebrity isn't sufficient, nor is choosing someone purely to sell surplus tickets. Stuart Pearce should be applauded for taking his role seriously and choosing what he thinks is the best squad for the job, given that he can't use players who were in Euro 2012 and the Scots declined to take part in Team GB. It will be a good opportunity for us to glimpse the talent of tomorrow, the under 23s who could maybe spring a surprise.

1 comment:

Derek J Ripley said...

Well said. Although I do think Jeffrey Archer should have been invited to represent England in the 100metres, the pole vault and the marathon...

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