Olympic snub could cost Bale
Soccer:Gareth Bale could be banned for playing for Tottenham while the Olympics are on - but only if the Football Association lodges an official complaint, according to Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Bale was included in Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain squad for the Olympics but was withdrawn due to injury.
However, the Welshman played for Spurs last night and scored in a pre-season friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy in California. The FA and British Olympic Association have not commented on Bale’s appearance, but Blatter said if there was an official complaint to Fifa then the 23-year-old could be banned for playing again for Spurs - even in friendlies - until August 12th.
The world governing body would have to judge that the club had not released him - Spurs would argue Bale only returned to fitness this week. Asked about Bale, Blatter said: “The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to Fifa and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics.
“So far nobody came to FIifa to say we should, but it is a possibility we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team. They (the association) complain and then we say let this player go or he cannot play for the club. Fifa’s position has never been so clear than it is now for the Olympics 2012 and 2016.”
Blatter admitted that some countries such as Switzerland had not insisted on clubs releasing players but that all were entitled to.
After making his comeback, Bale revealed his rehabilitation from a back injury was “well ahead of schedule”. He told Spurs TV Online: “After about 65 minutes my calf started to cramp up a bit but it was a good workout. It was one that I needed and it was good to get a goal as well.
Bale came under fire on Twitter, with former Wales star Robbie Savage posting: “So A legend like \[Ryan] giggs plays for the GB team , but bale who pulls out with injury scores for spurs last night , is that right ? Wales capt \[Aaron] Ramsey, most decorated player giggs , prem league winner \[Micah] Richards , does bale think he’s better than that even if he is class!”
Former England captain Gary Lineker posted: “Gareth Bale who pulled out of the Olympics through injury played for Spurs last night. Once in a lifetime opportunity thrown away #baffled.”
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said: “He came back to us during this week and you could say that we took a risk. We were on alert about the amount of effort he could put in.
“Gareth is young and physically a beast so he was able to put in the effort and we extended that because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before the start of the season. We just welcome his recovery — that is the most important thing for me. To have a player of this dimension available is fantastic.”
Bale was one of the faces of Team GB in the build-up to the Olympics and declared his desire to play.