Wilful Ignorance or Unskilful Inference?

In an article about Welsh footballing greats, the BBC’s Kevin Leonard either doesn’t know, or clumsily tries to gloss over something.

When Team GB kicks off its Olympic men’s football campaign against Senegal on Thursday, it will feature five Welsh players, including captain Ryan Giggs, in a squad of 18.

It would have been six – but for one of Europe’s biggest football talents, Gareth Bale, aggravating a back injury.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have none.

The article at no point mentions that the associations of Scotland and Northern Ireland chose not to compete as part of Team GB (sic). Originally Wales also decided not to compete.
As the story progressed it was decided that there was no legal way of stopping players from the various home nations from playing if they so wanted. That said however, players were strongly discouraged by their associations from taking part.

I strongly suspect that even if not for football reasons, if the chance had been there then political pressure would have been put on the team manager to pick a Scot for purely political reasons, particularly with everything else that is going on at the moment.

The point, which the article misses out, either wilfully or through negligence, is that the opportunity probably wasn’t there due to the pressures applied elsewhere, for good or bad.

I’m going with good.

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