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Redknapp backs Becks omission

Harry Redknapp has thrown his support behind Stuart Pearce after the Team GB boss' controversial decision not to hand one of his three over-age places to David Beckham.

• Beckham not selected for Olympics

Beckham was expected to be included in Pearce's squad having been such a vocal supporter of London 2012, but instead the over-23 players are reported to be Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman who was said to be shocked by Pearce's call, has said that he will try and find Beckham an Olympic role - and Redknapp feels that Pearce should not be concerned about upsetting high-ranking officials.

"There is no doubt Stuart will have upset a few in high places," Redknapp said to the Sun. "They would have loved to see Beckham in there. I am surprised and sad that he isn't. Stuart can kiss goodbye to a knighthood but credit for being brave.

"He is the manager and should be allowed to pick who he wants. David is a great credit to the country. You could not wish for a greater role model.

"There are lots of great over-age players: Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard for starters. In the end he's gone for Richards, who couldn't get in the England squad. I'm surprised there isn't a player from each home nation.

"His biggest problem is sudden 'injuries' - I wouldn't be surprised if clubs get to their players and they develop strange knocks that stop them competing."

Meanwhile, Alan Shearer has expressed his surprise at the Beckham omission. "I'm amazed as I thought he was going to be part of it after all he's done getting the Olympics to London," he said.

"After putting him in the initial squad I can't understand this. If Stuart Pearce had no intention of playing him, the least he could have done was tell him earlier."

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