Welsh stars Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy dismiss Olympic fears

Team GB football captain Ryan Giggs and fellow Welshman Craig Bellamy have dismissed concerns over their involvement in the 2012 Olympics.

The Football Association of Wales did not want any of the nation's players involved in the team.

But Giggs has been named captain alongside Bellamy in a GB squad including Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Swansea's Joe Allen and Neil Taylor.

"As a player and a Welshman, I just wanted to be involved," said Giggs.

Men's Olympic football - recent winners

Beijing 2008: Argentina

Athens 2004: Argentina

Sydney 2000: Cameroon

Atlanta 1996: Nigeria

Barcelona 1992: Spain

"Just like the Welsh lads involved, they're Welsh but we just wanted an opportunity to play for Great Britain in an Olympics on home turf so I think it was a chance we couldn't turn down.

"It was one we're excited about and if other people want to disagree, then that's their prerogative, but as a player I am excited and can't wait."

The Scottish and Northern Ireland governing football bodies also argued against their players' involvement in the tournament, but manager Stuart Pearce named only Welsh and English players in his 18-strong squad.

Manchester United midfielder Giggs retired from Welsh duty in 2007 and neither he nor Bellamy has played at a major tournament.

The FAW, despite its own misgivings, has pledged not to take any action against Bellamy, Ramsey, Allen and Taylor over their involvement.

Liverpool striker Bellamy, 32, like Manchester United veteran Giggs, 38, has captained Wales and they are two of three over-age players in a squad largely consisting of players under the age of 23.

Bellamy says no-one from the FAW has spoken to him about the issue and that he has received the backing of Wales manager Chris Coleman.

"I've never once had anyone from the FA [of Wales] come and speak to me and say don't be involved," said the Cardiff-born player.

"If I was ever going to put my national team, Wales, in jeopardy of not being a national team by being involved in this, I certainly wouldn't be involved.

"But I've had clearances from the Welsh manager [Chris Coleman] that this is fine, [he told me] "if you want to be part of this, go and enjoy it and give it your best shot".

"I am just happy to be involved in this and to have this opportunity.

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On sporting grounds, we don't really, in our mind, actually view it [football at the Olympics] in such the same esteem as the Fifa World Cup or the European Championships

Jonathan Ford FAW chief executive

"I would have always loved to be involved in this and how could you not?

"I have not heard anything elsewhere. I am not about politics, I am just here to play football.

"I love playing football and my family really wanted me to do this, so I am just looking forward to it."

An FAW spokesman said the governing body's views have been conveyed to players by team management.

And chief executive Jonathan Ford says he and his fellow officials "respect" the decisions of those Welsh players who have accected Team GB invitations.

Ford said: "We've always been very, very clear with our players. We're never going to put any sanctions on our players with regards to the Olympics.

"We have a personal opinion… it's well documented. We don't really see a Team GB.

"We see a Welsh team, we see an English team, as Scottish team and a Northern Irish team.

"We want to continue to play under that flag.

"We've always been very, very clear. We respect our players' decisions. We've always allowed our players to make those decisions.

"At the end of the day on political grounds we've been opposed to it.

"On sporting grounds, we don't really, in our mind, actually view it [football at the Olympics] in such the same esteem as the Fifa World Cup or the European Championships."

After facing Senegal on 26 July, Team GB meet United Arab Emirates at Wembley on 29 July and complete their group fixtures against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 1 August.