Crooks Scores Team GB OG
By Alex Horsburgh
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2012
Aunty Beeb almost steered clear of a possible identity crisis during their Tuesday morning coverage of the Olympic Football draw.
The men and women who will represent Team GB in the football competition at the London Olympics have discovered their group opponents.
In the men's draw, Great Britain were drawn against Senegal, Uruguay and UAE.
The women's draw saw the hosts pitted against New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil.
The men begin their Olympic campaign at Old Trafford against Senegal on Thursday 26 July, followed by fixtures at Wembley Stadium against UAE on Sunday 29 July and then Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday 1 August.
Uruguay were considered the toughest opponents Team GB could have been drawn against, while Senegal qualified last night after coming through a play-off against Oman in Coventry last night.
Both Uruguay and Senegal have players familiar to British audiences whom they could call upon. Newcastle strike duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are from the African nation while Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan hail from Uruguay.
The BBC in Television form did their best to make the draw interesting for all parts of the UK with Gary Lineker, Ronaldo and Mel C of the Spice Girls all involved in the draw. Scottish viewers might have been waiting for ''England tourettes'' to set in but it looked like the assembled pundits were going to get through the broadcast without mixing the titles GB and England.
Sadly, normal service was resumed at 12 noon when Garth Crooks set himself up for an own goal when he said: ''Of course Team GB will have an advantage being at home ... just like 1966''
The inevitable faux pas was completed three minutes later when ex-Spurs player Crooks commented: ''UAE, Senegal and Uruguay.. I don''t think any of those theams will strike fear into England!"
Presenter Mark Chapman quickly interjected with "BRITAIN" but the damage had been done. Cue those against Team GB in Scotland spitting out their tea.
Team GB Head Coach Stuart Pearce made it clear he would not favour Brand Beckham in his final selection process but made it clearer, along with Lord Coe incidentally, that the final squad would be chosen on merit and not as an arithmetical exercise to appease the smaller UK nations. Expect English players to form the bulk of the squad.
Womens Coach Hope Powell maybe summed up the feeling of many regarding Olympic Football when she seemed to be unable to remember who her team had been drawn against when interviewed just five minutes after the draw.
Team GB are ready for action but unfortunately it was Crooks OG before the first ball has even been kicked!