Tokyo 2020: English Football Association plans to enter a British women's team

England women
England's women won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup

The English Football Association plans to put together a British women's team for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Great Britain did not field a team in Rio last summer because the four home nation football associations could not come to an agreement.

But FA chief executive Martin Glenn says talks have taken place about entering a team in three years' time.

"They're not going to actively support us, but they're not going to stand in the way," he told BBC Sport.

"We've worked really hard with the other home nations to get them behind the idea that a British team would be good for football both in England but also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"We were very disappointed that for the Brazil Olympics we couldn't put in a British team because, for women's football, Olympic tournaments are disproportionately important compared to men's football."

England's FA had put forward the idea of sending Great Britain teams to the 2016 Olympics, but Fifa said it would need the agreement of all the ruling bodies.

Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA's chief executive, was among those to voice concerns that a Great Britain team could impact the home nations at future international tournaments such as World Cups.

A spokesman for the Scottish FA told BBC Sport: "Our position remains that the Scottish FA does not support the playing of Olympic football under the Team GB banner, preferring all organised international football involving Scottish players to be played in the name of Scotland."

In April, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, Jonathan Ford, said he could now see the "merits" of a GB women's football team.

In a statement to BBC Sport, the Irish Football Association said it "would not be in favour of sending players to a GB Olympic team. This is to protect our independent status within Fifa."

England's women, led by Mark Sampson, won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup and earlier this month reached the semi-finals of Euro 2017.

Glenn says the strength in depth through the nations could be key to further success.

"We would want to pick from the best of British talent and there's a number from nations outside of England and we know that would be good for the game."

Team GB entered men's and women's sides at London 2012, organised by the English FA.

Stuart Pearce took charge of the men and Hope Powell coached the women, with both teams being knocked out in the quarter-finals.

'Great for the women's game'

Kim Little
Kim Little played for Team GB in 2012, as they reached the quarter-finals

Scotland midfielder Kim Little, who represented Great Britain at London 2012

I am Scottish and British and am proud to represent either.

It is a great opportunity for individual players and women's football in general. It is a great platform to raise the game and London 2012 certainly did that. It was a great shame not to have a team at Rio. To show backing for a team at 2020 is great for the women's game in general.

I was grateful and proud to be one of two Scots in the team at London. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have had as a professional footballer. For the other three nations it provides an incentive for players, another platform to perform on at a major tournament.

Since 2012 Olympics, the England team went to the World Cup and were the best European team and they did well at the recent European Championship. I think getting together a GB team with other players from the home nations added to the England team, then whatever team comes together will have a real chance of doing something great.

I love playing football, so to be able to do that as a Team GB athlete and a Scottish athlete, I would be more than happy to do that.


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