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David Beckham won't play at London Olympics

Coach leaves 37-year-old star off roster despite Beckham's attachment to Games.
Beckham Olympic flameEnlarge
David Beckham carries the Olympic torch in Cornwall, England, on May 18, 2012. The torch relay starts Saturday at Land's End, the southwest tip of England, on an 8,000-mile journey around the UK to Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Games on July 27. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

After all his hard work helping England win the London 2012 Summer Olympics, David Beckham will not play for Great Britain’s soccer team.

The 37-year-old Beckham was a member of the bid committee and the man who carried the Olympic flame from Greece.

He learned Wednesday that coach Stuart Pearce didn’t choose him for the 18-man roster.

“Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me,” Beckham said in a news release, according to The Associated Press. “And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.” 

The Olympic soccer tournament features an age limit, with the squad primarily 23 or younger; however, coaches can name three over-age players.

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Many considered Beckham, for his role in the London organizing group and long career in international soccer, a logical choice.

Everyone except Pearce, apparently.

The British Olympic Association distanced itself from the debate, and even Beckham has said he wanted to play based on his skills on the field, not off it.

“He (Pearce) will then make the best call he can – on merit. I am not putting any pressure of him whatsoever to pick anyone,” BOA boss Andy Hunt told The Daily Mail

There are many disappointed by the decision other than Beckham, who now plays for the LA Galaxy in North America’s Major League Soccer.

Former England international Gary Linekar tweeted “why string him along?”

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 chairman, suggested Beckham would play some role in the opening ceremonies.

“He is from East London and knows how important the Games and sport are to young people,” Coe told The Telegraph. “He is a great role model and we are lucky to have such an advocate. I will be talking to him about a Games time role.”

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