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Beckham still British Olympic candidate

  • AP, Wednesday, April 18, 2012 3:02 PM

David Beckham's name is on a list of 80 players being considered for inclusion on the Britain soccer team that will compete this summer at the Olympic Games in London. Coach Stuart Pearce trimmed his long list of 191 players down to 80 as he prepares Britain's first Olympic soccer team since 1960. The 18-man squad is expected to be named by June.

Beckham, who will turn 37 next month, would be one of three players older than 23 allowed on the squad if he is selected. The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder has expressed a desire to play at the London Games in lieu of a return to the full national team. He made the last of his 115 appearances -- the most for an England outfield player -- in October 2009.

Britain has not fielded an Olympic soccer team since 1960 because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fear losing their independence within FIFA. The world body has assured the federations their status won't be affected by participating in the 16-team competition at the London Games, but those federations have still blocked plans for a combined team, with the Scottish Football Association warning players of a backlash from fans.

Pearce still hopes to include players from across Britain. On his list are Welsh internationals Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy, and Scottish striker Steven Fletcher.

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