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Welsh fury over English plan to enter team for Rio Olympics

The president of the Football Association of Wales has delivered a furious attack on English football's leaders following the revelation they intend to enter teams for Rio 2016 Olympics.

Trefor Lloyd Hughes, who also accused the FA of going back on a written agreement that would see Wales take over the British FIFA vice-presidency in May, said that he is livid" about the Olympics but does not think the Welsh FA can block the move.

The FA had originally ruled out entering teams but has now written to the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh associations informing the FAs of their intentions and asking if they would like to take part.

British football teams played at the London 2012 Olympics with players from England, Scotland and Wales but the FA said at the time that would be a one-off.

Lloyd Hughes said: "I am absolutely gutted with the English FA - very, very disappointed. If they want to work with us they have to be more open with us and they don't seem to be keeping to agreements. I'm livid about it.

"As far as the Olympics is concerned it was not long ago that they said London 2012 was just a one-off. Now it appears they have decided on their own to enter a team without discussing it with us.

"I don't think we will be able to block it, but why has Seb Coe and the British Olympic Association gone to England? The BOA should be more open and transparent. It's supposed to be the British Olympic Association not the English Olympic Association."

'Rotated'

Lloyd Hughes is running against England's nomination David Gill for the British FIFA vice-presidency, which is being voted by UEFA's Congress on March 24. Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce steps down in May and Lloyd Hughes has a copy of an agreement signed by the four home nations' FAs in 2011 stating the vice-presidency would be rotated with Wales next in line.

The document states "Each association shall on a rotational basis select an individual for the role of British FIFA vice-president for a maximum of four years. The order of rotation shall be FAW, IFA, FA, IFA."

The FA claims the agreement no longer applies because under FIFA reforms the position is elected by UEFA rather than just the four home nations.

Lloyd Hughes added however: "England seem to want to run everything and take over the whole game. "But we will not let that happen - the dragon on Wales has still got flame coming out of his mouth. "We are not going to be bullied."

Gill insisted the deal no longer applied now that UEFA elected the position.

He said: "Clearly there was a deal but that then changed when the reforms were put through when the IFAB reformed. It may be semantics but before it was a British vice-president of FIFA, now it's a UEFA FIFA vice-presidency reserved for the home nations.

"So we very clearly took a view, as did UEFA, that the 54 countries of UEFA will determine that person and I think that makes sense. It is much better and more democratic to have that role selected by all of the countries that that person will be representing on FIFA.

"If the original agreement hadn't been sort of torn up then it would be Wales' turn, but the Welsh have put a candidate forward and there will be a vote in Vienna in a few weeks' time."


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