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Scottish players can represent Team GB but beware of the backlash - SFA's Regan

Scottish Football Association chief Stewart Regan says Scottish players will not be restricted from representing the Great Britain Olympic football team but has warned players to expect a backlash from media and the general public.

Nine Scots have been targeted by Team GB officials for the 2012 London Games with Regan warning them that being involved with such a setup could jeopardise the nation's independent status with FIFA.

"We are not going to say 'You cannot play' or 'If you do, you'll be dropped'," he said.

"As far as policy is concerned, they wouldn't be looked upon any differently from any other eligible player.

"You have to factor in the individual's right and perspective for their own career.

"We said all along we were not going to interfere.

"But it will be disappointing from a fan's perspective because there is an element of supporters who are really hoping we don't have players taking part and pulling on the Team GB shirt.

"They would have to deal with the backlash from fans because I'm sure there will be some element within the support who would want to protect Scotland's independence.

"Players who live outside Scotland, who are probably not open to the press coverage and the feedback from the Tartan Army supporters' clubs, maybe don't feel the same degree of nationalistic support.

"Maybe they don't see it as big a deal as those who are regularly playing with a Scottish team in a Scottish league."

The Scottish players targeted by Team GB are Celtic's Scott Brown, James Forrest, and Allan McGregor, Rangers duo Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker, Cardiff City's Kenny Miller, Wolves ace Steven Fletcher and Middlesbrough pair Stephen McManus and Barry Robson.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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