Britain’s chances of winning an Olympic women’s football medal at London 2012 have suffered a blow with the news that experienced England skipper Faye White will miss the Games after announcing she is expecting her first child.
The 34-year-old, who has won 90 caps, says it is unlikely she will ever play for her country again.
“I’m going to be a mum for the first time in October,” White said.
“I have spoken to [England and Team GB coach] Hope Powell and this will more or less signal the end.”
Ninth on the list of most capped English women, the Arsenal defender made her international debut against Scotland in 1997 and captained her country at four major tournaments – two European Championships and two World Cups.
It was White, however, who missed the decisive spot-kick during last summer’s World Cup quarterfinal defeat by France.
She has yet to decide whether she will retire from the game totally as she recovers from a knee injury.
“I have had 15 or 16 years with England and I think this was always going to be my last year,” White said.
“I have always overcome injuries in the past and I was determined to get over this one.
“I finally got back to playing and training in the New Year, but basically my international career will be over now.”
Everton left-back Rachel Unitt who captained England for their recent 6-0 win over Croatia, is one of the contenders to take over. The squad will be announced next month and Powell paid tribute to White saying,
“Faye has been a tremendous leader for me ever since she made her debut.
“She is one of the best defenders in the women’s game and an outstanding ambassador and role model.”
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine