Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Phil Neville selects ‘longlist’ Great Britain women’s squad

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Phil Neville selects ‘longlist’ Great Britain women’s squad

Phil Neville says he has selected an expanded Great Britain squad that will be whittled down to a final 18 players for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The 42-year-old England manager will lead the women’s football team made up of players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“We are going through the selection process now,” Neville said.

“The longlist has been selected and the players from all countries have been notified.”

Team GB reached the quarter-finals at London 2012 but did not enter a team for the Rio 2016 Olympics because the four home nation football associations could not reach an agreement on fielding a combined side.

Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland agreed in October to allow a GB women’s team to try to reach Tokyo, but qualification depended on England’s progress in the World Cup in France as the nominated side.

Neville guided England to fourth place at the World Cup earlier in the summer, a finish that secured a place at the Olympics for a combined GB team.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford has said there will be “no prohibition” to Wales players being picked for Team GB, though the FAW stance is that it is against the concept of a British side.

“It is a difficult process to go through because you have to pay respects to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in terms of contact with their players,” Neville added.

“The process will be open and honest and we will make sure every player has the best opportunity to go to the Olympics.

“I was at the BOA (British Olympic Association) the other day and you associate the Olympics with athletics and swimming and cycling.

“But when we went in there and saw all the medals, Katherine Grainger, Steve Redgrave – I would say it’s probably bigger than the World Cup in terms of the global scale.

“It’s bigger than the World Cup in England in terms of normal society. It really hits home to you the chats that I’ve had with the BOA, it’s a different level.”

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