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Jul 25, 2012

Bale to escape ban

Team GB coach Stuart Pearce and the English FA will not complain over Gareth Bale's participation for Tottenham in a friendly match, meaning he will not be banned from playing for his club by FIFA until August 12.

Bale scored as Spurs drew 1-1 with LA Galaxy during their American tour on Tuesday, but had been withdrawn from GB coach Stuart Pearce's squad for the Olympics because of injury.

That led FIFA president Sepp Blatter to claim that Bale could be banned for playing for Tottenham during the Olympic Games if the FA lodges a complaint.

The FA and British Olympic Association did not initially comment on his appearance for Andre Villas-Boas' side, but Blatter said: "The principle is that if a club does not release a player, then an association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the Olympics.

"So far, nobody has come to FIFA [to complain about Bale] - but it is a possibility that we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team.

"They [a football association] complain and then we say: 'Let this player go or he cannot play for the club.' FIFA's position has never been so clear as it is now for the Olympics 2012 and 2016."

But Bale will escape a ban as an FA insider then told ESPN: "I don't believe we are going to lodge a compliant with FIFA, I would say the answer to that is no. The Olympic GB team met up many weeks ago, and it doesn't mean to say that the player was not unfit when we selected the squad in the first place."

The Welsh winger insisted he had recovered from his injury "well ahead of schedule" justifying, in Spurs' eyes, the decision to withdraw him from Pearce's GB squad.

Bale played 74 minutes of the match against Galaxy, and Villas-Boas said: "Gareth is extremely young and physically a beast, so he was able to put on the effort.

"We extended [his time] because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before we start the season."

Speaking after the match, Bale told Tottenham's official website: "It was a good workout. It was one that I needed, and it was good to get a goal as well.

"My rehab's gone very well at the club - we are well ahead of schedule. It's important to get a pre-season under my belt for the forthcoming season, so I am delighted to be back now without any problems."

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