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Women's Football News
England's hopes of participating in the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing have ended today after confirmation from FIFA.
Hope Powell's Three Lions were hopeful that after qualifying for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2007 last September, a top three European finish this month in China would qualify them for a return trip next year.
However, in correspondence sent by FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valke, it is clear that this will not be the case:
"We would like to confirm that according to Article 5.1 of the Regulations of Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008, and following the verification of the FIFA Executive Committee, the team of England is not eligible to participate.
"Consequently, should England finish among the top three European teams, they would forfeit their position to the European team ranked immediately below them."
Responding to the news, Hope told TheFA.com: "Clearly we're very disappointed but the players have all discussed the issue and it's behind us now.
"For any athlete, to compete in an Olympics is one of the ultimate achievements, but we have to remember that we are on the verge of a World Cup, and we are 100% focused on the task ahead of us.
"This issue is one that will always be discussed and with the 2012 games in London, hopefully a decision can be reached that will give female players the opportunity to potentially play on home soil then."
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