England manager Sam Allardyce backs return of Team GB football side for Olympics

England boss Sam Allardyce
England boss Sam Allardyce

England boss Sam Allardyce has backed the return of Team GB football sides for future Olympic Games.

Britain entered teams for men and women into London 2012, but home nations associations insisted that was purely to support the host nation.

Team GB was unable to enter either men's or women's teams at Rio 2016, but now new England manager Allardyce believes that should change in future.

When asked if he regrets Team GB's absence from football competition at the 2016 Olympics, Allardyce told the BBC: "I do personally yes.

"I think it's a fantastic venue, once every four years and to turn it down is a great shame."

Team GB entered men's and women's sides into the London 2012 games, with Stuart Pearce coaching the men and Hope Powell the women.

The English Football Association had lobbied to send teams to Rio but was unable to secure the support of the other nations comprising Great Britain, who fear such a move could impact upon their independent status within the sport's world governing body FIFA.

Former Sunderland manager Allardyce however believes a return to action would be a boost for both Team GB and football in general.

"When you see the delight on Justin Rose's face when he won the gold medal in golf it shows what it all means," said Allardyce.

"It's something we may look at in the future and try to compete in."