SOME of football’s biggest stars could be heading to Tyneside after it emerged Spain and Brazil will play Olympic football at St James’s Park this summer.
FIFA’s organising committee announced today that Great Britain, Spain, Brazil and Mexico will be the seeded teams, meaning they will avoid each other in the group stages of the 16-team tournament.
Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain are seeded as hosts, and will be in Group A, playing games at Old Trafford (July 26), Wembley Stadium (July 29) and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (August 1). World Cup holders Spain are the Group D seeds, and will play at Hampden Park (July 26), St James’s Park (July 29) and Old Trafford (August 1).
Brazil will be in Group C, with games at the Millennium Stadium (July 26), Old Trafford (July 29) and St James’s Park (August 1).
The full draw for the competition was being made at Wembley today.
Pearce has compiled a shortlist of 80 players for Team GB, which will be cut down to a final 18.
However, the Football Association has confirmed that any player representing England at Euro 2012 will not be selected.
A spokesman said: “A final 18-man squad will be announced very soon, after the Euro squad is selected in May, to assist players and clubs with their planning for next season. The list of 80 players does include players who are regulars in the England squad, and they remain on the Team GB list until England’s Euro 2012 squad is finalised.”
Mexico will be the seeds in Group D. Their group games will be held at St James’s Park (July 26), Coventry’s Ricoh Arena (July 29) and the Millennium Stadium (August 1).
Senegal secured the final spot last night with a 2-0 play-off win over Oman – meaning Newcastle United duo Papiss Demba Cisse and Demba Ba could figure.
Other teams taking part include Switzerland, Belarus, Uruguay, Honduras, Japan, South Korea, UAE, New Zealand, Egypt, Gabon and Morocco.