London, Apr 25 (ANI): Team Great Britain's coach Stuart Pearce has said that he will watch David Beckham play for the LA Galaxy before deciding on whether to select him in the final 18-man squad for the London 2012 Olympics.
Beckham has reportedly expressed his desire to play for Team GB on a number of occasions and it is expected that his presence would undoubtedly boost interest in the tournament.
However, Pearce, acknowledging the star quality the 36-year-old possessed, insisted that he would be picking the squad on merit and not with marketing in mind.
"[I will pick] solely on merit. It's the only way any manager picks a squad or a team and I will do exactly the same," The Telegraph quoted Pearce, as saying.
After learning his side's group-stage opponents would be Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay at the tournament draw at Wembley, Pearce pointed out that he is picking players on the basis of their 'form and merit' and 'not where they come from'.
"The best 18 players and four standby players who are the best on current form and the best placed to deliver an Olympic gold will be selected," he added.
Locog chairman Lord Coe backed Pearce's stand and was adamant that he would be free to pick his squad purely on sporting considerations, notwithstanding the obvious appeal of Beckham to spectators in this country and across the world.
"This is absolutely for Stuart Pearce (to decide)," he said. "He must pick the team on merit and whatever team Stuart picks will attract a lot of attention," Coe was reported, as saying.
When asked if it was important that the squad should feature players from all four home nations, Coe clarified, "If possible that's important, but again (it must be) on merit. You don't select your teams on a quota basis, you select on merit." (ANI)
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