MIDDLESBROUGH chief executive Neil Bausor will meet the Football Association and British Olympic Association today to try to agree ticket prices which will allow as many North East football fans as possible to see David Beckham’s Great Britain Olympic team.
The men play a Brazil squad expected to feature Ronaldinho, Neymar, Dani Alves and David Luiz at the Riverside on July 20, their first warm-up ahead of this summer’s Games. On the same day the women host Sweden in their first ever match.
Bausor is anxious to see affordable tickets on sale as soon as possible.
“I’ll be down with the FA starting those discussions,” he confirmed.
“Some of the confirmations of the teams have been fairly late so now everything’s been fully defined we will be looking at it in the next couple of weeks to get pricing out there and let people go on and buy the tickets.
“I can’t speak for the FA but securing the opposition has a level of complication they’ve worked through. We’ve been in dialogue with the FA for a few months.”
Men’s manager Stuart Pearce is hoping the Teesside public’s fondness for Brazilian footballers – stemming from the days Boro had World Cup winners Juninho and Branco, plus compatriot Emmerson in tandem – swells the attendance.
“Middlesbrough recently hosted an (England) Under-21 game (against Belgium in February) and had a tremendous crowd (23,000) and I think, particularly with the Brazilian connections on Teesside, it will be a terrific turnout again in July,” said the former Newcastle United defender.
“I realise just how massive an event it is going to be for the whole of Great Britain.”
Both the men and women’s teams will train at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe complex in the build-up to the game. Once the Olympics itself gets under way, GB will play their games in London and Cardiff.
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is in the provisional 80-man squad for the men’s tournament. Sunderland’s Fraizer Campbell is thought to be the only other representative of the North East clubs. St James’ Park hosts group games and a quarter-final in both the men and women’s competitions, which run from July 25 to August 11. Mexico, Spain and Brazil are seeded teams who will all play in Newcastle, while Sweden play Canada and France take on Colombia in women’s games there.