Blatter against Olympic team

Fifa surpremo rules out British side

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has ended all hopes of a combined British football team at the London 2012 Olympics by insisting only English players should take part.

Blatter said playing combined men's and women's teams would risk the four British associations losing their separate identities and special privileges in football.

His comments will come as a shattering blow to British Olympics chiefs who have been trying to persuade the reluctant Scottish and Welsh FAs to allow players to take part in a combined 2012 team - the English and Northern Irish associations had been in favour.

Blatter held talks with Scottish FA officials during his stay at Gleneagles for the International FA Board meeting this weekend and told them they were right to refuse to take part in a British team.

"Looking at the situation of 2012, I have had a discussion with the Scottish FA leadership and they have said they would not play in a combined team," said Blatter.

"I said that is the best thing for them to do. If you start to put together a combined team for the Olympic Games the question will automatically come up that there are four different associations so how can they play in one team?

"If this is the case then why the hell do they have four associations and four votes and their own vice-presidency?

"This will put into question all the privileges that the British associations have been given by the Congress in 1946.

"They should choose a solution which will not harm these privileges and they should enter only a team composed of players from England.

"This will then not provoke a long and endless discussion on the four British associations.

"There's no reason to change something that has been established for 62 years but you cannot have your cake and eat it. There is no danger of [losing those privileges] so long as you don't overdo it."