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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 April, 2014

Great Britain handed tough draw in football group stages at Olympics

Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce says he will travel to the United States to check on the form and fitness of David Beckham.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

STUART PEARCE’S GREAT BRITAIN side will face Senegal, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates in the group stages of this summer’s London Olympics.

Britain were among the top seeds for the men’s draw, along with Spain, Brazil and Mexico.

Argentina, the reigning champions, did not qualify.

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.

The South American side, who could include the likes of Diego Forlan and Liverpool duo Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates, were considered the toughest side that Britain could have been drawn against.

Pearce has room for three players above the age of 23 in his squad, and plans to travel to the United States to check on the form and fitness of David Beckham. No players from England’s European Championships squad will be considered.

“(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,” Pearce told BBC Sport.

“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.”

Men’s Olympic Football Draw:

Group A: Great Britain, Senegal, Uruguay, UAE
Group B: Mexico, South Korea, Gabon, Switzerland
Group C: Brazil, Belarus, New Zealand, Egypt
Group D: Spain, Honduras, Japan, Morocco

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