Manager Stuart Pearce confirmed there was no political pressure on him to select David Beckham for his Team GB Olympic squad - and would not have accepted the job if there had been.
As expected, the omission of Beckham - a key figure in the London 2012 bid process and beyond - somewhat overshadowed the naming of the 18 players who will line up at the Games.
Until last week it was widely expected that Beckham's star quality and devotion to the Olympic cause would be enough to earn him one of the three over-age spots in Pearce's squad.
But the England Under-21 boss said his selections - Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards - were made solely by him and exclusively for footballing reasons.
"From the offset, when I sat down with the (Football Association) chairman David Bernstein, some time before Christmas, he offered me the opportunity to pick the squad," he said.
"If at that stage he had said to me that certain individuals would have to be included I certainly wouldn't do that job. I don't know any manager worth their salt who would have.
"Right through this process I have had carte blanche to pick whatever players I regard as best.
"I do enough hours watching matches and I think I've done due diligence on all the players here.
"And in regard to ticket sales and merchandise: I'm a football man and I pick solely on football ability. I have to back my opinion and that's what I have done."
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