London 2012: Stuart Pearce says nations' Olympics stance saddens him

Stuart Pearce says he is "saddened" by the reluctance of the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh football associations to embrace Team GB.

All three associations have discouraged their players from taking part in the Olympics, fearful of losing their independent status within Fifa.

"I find it saddening," the Team GB coach told Real Radio. "The bottom line is that it is down to the players.

"No-one from Fifa has said [their independence] is under threat."

He continued: "I'm not overly sure where that is coming from. I find it a little bit sad, but that's the way it is."

Players from the home nations under consideration have been contacted by the English FA - with Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale both having indicated their desire to play.

TEAM GB GROUP FIXTURES

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But Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan this week warned that Scotland's Olympic football hopefuls could make themselves unpopular with Scotland supporters if they turn out for Team GB.

"I hope it is without foundation," said Pearce. "I think anyone who wants to better themselves [should] take my experience: three tournaments in 12 years of international football.

Interview: Pearce on the inclusion of Scottish players in Team GB

"They come around so rarely and perhaps more so for the Scottish, the Northern Irish and the Welsh."

Meanwhile, women's coach Hope Powell has expressed her delight that no-one turned down the offer to play at the Olympics - but admits choosing the best 18 players will be tough.

"It's great news. I'm delighted that the girls want to be involved in the Olympics - it's a great event and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Powell.

"Whittling the squad down will be challenging, but it will be based on players in form.

"But unfortunately it's only a squad of 18 so there will be a lot of disappointed people."