Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has already said this week that his striker Javier Hernandez won’t be competing in the Olympics this summer for his native Mexico. But apparently he won’t be the only Man U player blocked from competing in London.
The English juggernaut has reportedly placed an embargo on its players after writing a letter to the English Football Association warning Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce to not select any of its over-age players. Men’s soccer teams at the Olympics are under-23 squads but are permitted to have three players over the age limit.
The lone player Man U is willing to concede from its blockade is 38-year-old midfielder Ryan Giggs, who as a Welsh international has never competed in a major international tournament. That would mean Man U stars Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney are restricted from being part of Team GB. However, it was already unlikely that Pearce would have called upon them. Ferdinand and Rooney are both standouts for England, which is set to compete in the Euro Cup in June, and Pearce has said he would not choose any English players who compete at Euros.
In the past, FIFA allowed clubs to block all their players from competing in the Olympcs. Only recently did it relent in advance for the London games, making clubs leave their under-23 players available for Olympic duty (which sounds in tune to what David Stern reportedly wants to do with basketball).
But, all in all, Man U definitely isn’t the only club with this attitude. It’s just doing what’s in its best interests. And Mark Cuban is probably somewhere giving them a standing O for it.
Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Olympic blog Medal Detector
Photo credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE