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Welsh soccer player listed as English in official Team GB program

Joe Allen's entry in the official Team GB program. (via the BBC)

Following Wednesday's mix-up in which the South Korean flag was used to represent the North Korean women's soccer team, prompting the team to refuse to the start its match against Colombia on time and forcing Olympic organizers to apologize, Team Great Britain  has now gotten the nationality of one of its own athletes wrong. In the official Team GB program for its opening men's soccer match against Senegal on Thursday, highly touted Welsh midfielder Joe Allen is wrongly listed as being English.

The 22-year-old Allen, who also plays for Wales-based Premier League club Swansea City, has represented Wales at both the youth and senior levels prior to being included in Team GB, which is comprised of players from England and Wales representing the United Kingdom's usually separate national teams for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The other four Welsh players on the first GB soccer team to compete since 1972 had their nationality correctly listed (see Craig Bellamy in the above image) in the program.

[ Related: North Korean women's soccer team refused to take field after flag mishap ]

When the idea of reforming a GB soccer team for the London Olympics was first introduced, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland football associations were all hesitant to agree to the idea, fearing that it would threaten their independent status with FIFA. Through intensive negotiations, those fears were eventually calmed and the team was formed specifically for this one tournament, albeit without players from Northern Ireland or Scotland.

UPDATE: Olympic organizers have now apologized for this mistake, as well. From the Guardian:

A London 2012 spokesman Andy Mitchell told the BBC: "A genuine mistake was made for which we apologise."

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