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Zaha on Olympic Standby

6 July 2012

Crystal Palace's highly rated winger Wilfried Zaha has not been included in manager Stuart Pearce's final Team GB Olympic football squad, but has been placed on standby, along with LA Galaxy's David Beckham.


Zaha, 19, who made an excellent impression in the npower championship last season by scoring six league goals and wowing fans with his fast footwork, won the Crystal Palace and Football League Young Player of the Year awards for 2012.


The 18 man strong Olympic Football team will have only four representatives from the Championship, goalkeepers Jack Butland and Jason Steele of Birmingham City and Middlesbrough respectively and Marvin Sordell of Bolton Wanderers as well as the Palace winger.


Pearce has opted to include Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as his senior members of the GB squad, as well as choosing five Welshmen out of the 18 permitted, Bellamy and Giggs joined by Swansea City's Neil Taylor and Joe Allen, along with Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal.


The England U21 manager attracted controversy by leaving out fans' favourite and a key component in winning the right to host the Olympic in London, David Beckham, and by choosing not to include any Irish or Scottish players.


The Team GB football team will meet Brazil in a friendly on the 20th July at Middlesbrough before beginning their campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford six days later, kick off 8:00 pm. The squad will then travel south to Wembley Stadium on Sunday 29th July to face the UAE before meeting Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Wednesday 1st July, both kicking off at 7:45 pm.


Should Team GB progress as group winners or as runners-up, they would meet the runners-up or group winners of Group B on the 4th August at either the Millennium Stadium or Wembley Stadium. The final will take place a week later at Wembley at 3:00 pm.


The GB women's football team will meet New Zealand in Cardiff on Wednesday 25th July, before staying in the Welsh capital to play Cameroon on Saturday 28th July. The team will then travel to Wembley for Tuesday 31st July to play Brazil. The final will be situated at Wembley like the men's final, but will be played two days earlier on Thursday 9th July.


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