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Taylor, Calzaghe and Team GB, UK, or not at all?

Amanda Farnsworth | 23:08 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Hello again all, thanks for all your comments regarding this week’s Inside Sport, a selection of them are published here.

What a week it was! There was a lot of congratulation and support for Phil Taylor and Joe Calzaghe on the back of our interviews with them but the overwhelming public response has been to our story on a potential ‘GB’ (or ‘UK’) football team for London 2012.

It has actually been a first for us to run a football story and not receive e-mails asking why we prioritise the round-ball game, seemingly over all other sports.

Many of the comments we received were sporting and political opinions and I’m glad we’ve provoked them! Every e-mail raised a valid point – Who would ever manage such a team? What about the British Lions and the rest of the Olympic team? Would Scottish and Welsh players that played for such a team risk being pariahs? Is it 'GB' or ‘UK’ in Olympic sporting terms?

If you want to get in to the debate there’s a dedicated 606 thread here.

Some comments, however, asked about our coverage of the story, so a few answers for you:

Nicolas Ryan, Wales, was angered about a comment on our show to ban those FA that didn’t want to take part in ‘Team GB’ from the 2018 World Cup (should England get it) - the comment was just a bit of light-hearted banter during the paper review - I wouldn't take it too seriously, Nick.

Some felt the programme made it look like only Scotland were against the idea. I'm afraid I can't agree - it was clear in the headlines, introduction and in the script of the piece as well as in the interview with Simon Clegg that only the English FA is for the GB Team proposal and all the other three Home Nation FAs are against it.

For those asking about our team sheet graphic (a largely English team with a handful of Welsh and Scottish players): In the production team meeting before the show we were tossing around the names – Bellamy, Healy, McFadden, Brown, Miller, Eastwood, Bale, Gordon – and had a near full non-English XI, but the reason we put up the team sheet that we did was precisely to make the tokenism point and Des was very clear in his view that this would be a legitimate complaint from any Home Nation, if the team is essentially English with the odd Scot involved.

Also, thanks for all your supportive e-mails to Gabby about her efforts on Strictly Come Dancing. I shall pass them on to her.

Congratulations to Ron, our Assistant Editor, on his work on the Dolphins-Giants game, great to read the positive response it received.

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