POSTED: January 12th 2009

Smith urges 2012 football deal

Kelly Smith: England's FIFA prize contender /
Kelly Smith: England's FIFA prize contender /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

ZURICH: Kelly Smith appealed in Zurich today for the British football associations to get their act together over the 2012 Olympic Games.

The historical fact that England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales exist independently within the world game, both on and off the pitch, has caused enormous controversy.

Thus Great Britain has not competed in football at the modern Olympic Games and, while England’s Football Association is in favour of competing at both men’s and women’s tournaments in 2012, the other three nations are not.

Smith, one of five nominees to win the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year prize, had no hesitation in supporting the pro-Games lobby.

She said: “All the England women’s players want in to happen because to play in the Olympic Games would be an outstanding achievement for any of us. We have spoken to the Scottish players and to the Wales captain, Jayne Ludlow, and they are all for it. It’s just a problem of politics. But it would be great for the English women’s game.

Experience crucial

"The men have the World Cup and the European Championship but our women’s game really needs to get to another major tournament to gain greater experience. It must happen!”

Earlier Smith had discounted her prospects of winning the award, given the achievements in 2008 of the other four nominees.

Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and captain Birgit Prinz of Germany had both won bronze at the Beijing Olympics while Christiane of Brazil was five-goal top scorer at the Olympics and collected a silver medal, like Marta – FIFA’s top woman player in 2006 and 2007.

Marta confirmed, during a pre-Gala press conference, that she is transferring to Los Angeles on a three-year contract and five successful years in Swedish women’s football with Umea.

Keywords · FIFA Gala · Kelly Smith · women's football · Marta · Christiane · Angerer · Prinz · Zurich

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