Team GB handed Uruguay test
Great Britain's men face a tough group in the Olympic football tournament after being drawn with Uruguay, the UAE and Senegal at London 2012.
Stuart Pearce's side will kick off the tournament against Senegal at Old Trafford, Manchester, on July 26, then play the UAE at Wembley on July 29 and finish the group against Uruguay in Cardiff on August 1.
Uruguay were viewed as the toughest opponents Team GB could have faced while Senegal qualified on Tuesday night after beating Oman in a play-off at Coventry.
Uruguay and Senegal could both potentially call on some star players from the
Premier League - Newcastle strike duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are from Senegal while Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is from Uruguay.
The men's teams are made up of under-23 players with three over-age players permitted per squad.
Pearce revealed he would be travelling to the United States to see former
England captain David Beckham, now with the Los Angeles Galaxy, but insisted there were no guarantees of inclusion to anyone - including Beckham.
He told BBC Sport: "(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.
"I will know a bit more when I go to the States to see what form (Beckham) is
in, he's made the shortlist and he has been a great ambassador for this country and the Olympics, but that's no recommendation that he will get in the squad and that's fair and square across the board for all players.''
Spain, seeds in Group D, will play Japan in Glasgow on July 26, Honduras at St James' Park, Newcastle on July 29 and Morocco in Manchester on August 1.
Brazil, seeded as the "all-time top Olympic performer'' despite never winning
the competition, and will be in Group C playing Egypt in Cardiff (July 26),
Belarus in Manchester (July 29) and New Zealand in Newcastle (August 1).
Mexico, seeded as the highest-ranked country outside of Europe and South
America, and will be in Group B playing South Korea in Newcastle (July 26),
Gabon in Coventry (July 29) and Switzerland in Cardiff (August 1).
London 2012 Sebastian Coe said at the draw ceremony: "This is a unique
opportunity for the UK to share in the Olympic Games and to share in the spirit
of the Games and to say at the end of the process that 'I was there'. I am
delighted this football tournament will play such a role in the Games.''
Great Britain's women's team will kick off their campaign against New Zealand in the opening event of the Games in Cardiff on July 25 - two days before the opening ceremony.
Hope Powell's side will also face Brazil and Cameroon in Group F.
The match against Cameroon will also be in Cardiff, on July 28, with the game against Brazil at Wembley on July 31.
Doncaster Rovers Belles midfielder Sue Smith was optimistic about the chances of Team GB making progress in the tournament and told the BBC: "I think we can get through. Obviously Brazil's going to be a tasty game, they are fantastic to watch and they are very similar to the men in the way that they play.
"The first game against New Zealand will be exciting, they're an up-and-coming team, they started off earlier in the year not too well and they have gradually had really good results so they're beginning to peak for the tournament.
"They are very defensive but towards the summer they will build. It's a really good group and one that we can definitely get out of."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.