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Capello wants to coach unified UK team at Olympics

Nov. 12, 2008, 3:26 p.m. (ET)

LONDON(AP) England manager Fabio Capello wants to coach a unified British team at the 2012 London Olympics.

The Italian's four-year contract with the English Football Association is set to expire before the games, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have blocked plans for the British teams because they don't want to jeopardize their status as separate teams in UEFA and FIFA events.

Capello is still hopeful of a breakthrough - and then being favored over Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who has already being backed for the post by London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.

“I will be 66 by (2012) and I will have reached retirement age. Then I want to travel and visit all of the ancient cultures that fascinate me so much,” Capello said in an interview with FIFA Magazine. “But I would also like to make another of my dreams come true by taking part in the Olympic Games, something that I was denied as a player, and something that still fills me with regret.

“I think it's only fair that Great Britain should have a football team in the Olympics, but it is up to others to decide how, and with which players.”

The Scottish Football Association hardened its resistance Wednesday, despite renewed assurances from FIFA.

“We will not do anything that we feel would jeopardize our status as a footballing nation in our own right,” the SFA said. “At this stage, we feel that a Team GB does just that.

“At some point, there is a real danger that a precedent of a Team GB will come back and threaten our status as a separate nation.”