It appears that Team GB football coach Stuart Pearce has put many noses out of joint by opting – as was his power- to not select David Beckham as part of the team as one of the three over age players.
Beckham was seen as being one of the key components in Great Britain’s winning Olympic Games bid and many believed that the captaincy of the Great Britain team would be a just reward for the 37 year old. Instead Pearce has appointed his former team mate Welsh wizard of the wing Ryan Giggs as captain.
Whereas David Beckham as always been available for his country and has always made himself available Giggs has not, and his appointment has upset many, especially fans of Wales. Giggs’ International career spanned a sixteen-year period but his haul of 64 caps did not come without controversy. Continual withdrawals ultimately become an almost acceptable trend in years to come. Giggs retired from international football in 2007 in order to focus on his club career, but did say that he was available in 2010 should there be an emergency and his country needed him, that call never came.
The question now for the British Olympic Association is how can they reward David Beckham for the part he played in bringing the Games to his home city?
There is talk that he may be made a special attache to the GB team which would allow him to march in the opening ceremony. Incredibly he is now the second favourite with the British bookies, after Sir Steven Redgrave a five-times Olympic Gold medallist, to light the Olympic cauldron. If he did this would be a travesty to every Olympic Athlete who has gone before, as this is their event and their moment to be recognised, Beckham has had more than his 15 minutes of fame. Surely the likes of Mary Peters, Daley Thompson, Alan Wells, David Hemery, David Wilkie, Brendan Foster, Steve Ovett, Steve Cramm, or Dame Kelly Holmes are a long way ahead of Mr. Beckham in being given this honour?
There is no doubt that Beckham will pop up in some form or other, in acknowledgement of the work he put in to bring the Games to London, but one hopes for the Olympic athletes it is in an understated role and not as part of the pomp and ceremony and in no way detracts for their achievements past or present.