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No room for nostalgia says Rogge on Beckham being left off GB squad

updated 12:49 PM EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
  • Jacques Rogge backs decision to leave David Beckham out of London Olympics
  • No room for sentiment or nostaliga in top level sport says IOC chief
  • Beckham left out of GB football squad by coach Stuart Pearce
  • Rogge looking forward to men's 100m final in London

(CNN) -- IOC president Jacques Rogge has backed the decision by Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce to omit David Beckham from his Olympic football squad, saying there is no room for sentiment in top level sport.

Rogge told CNN Wednesday that he would have "loved" Beckham to have taken part as a competitor in the London 2012 Games but that Pearce had to pick the best players to bring success to the host nation.

"The head coach is the head coach -- if the head coach decides not to field the player that's the end of it," he said.

"This is not an issue for sentiment, it's not an issue for nostalgia, it's about being the best athlete in the world in your own place, in your own sport," he added.

London will be the third Summer Games since 70-year-old Belgian Rogge, took over at the helm of the Olympic ruling body, and he acknowledged that former England captain Beckham had played a key role in bringing them to his country.

He's done a great job in bidding for the Games, he's a great personality, he's a very likeable person, but it's the law of sport
Jacques Rogge on David Beckham

"He's done a great job in bidding for the Games, he's a great personality, he's a very likeable person, but it's the law of sport," he said.

Rogge has pledged to catch competition in all 26 sports in London but is particularly looking forward to several key clashes.

Foremost among them is the possible all-Jamaican battle for gold in the men's 100m final on August 5.

"I want to see the fight between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the sprint," said Rogge, reflecting on last weekend's races between the pair which saw Blake beat the 2008 triple Olympic champion twice in the Jamaican trials.

"I want to see the swimming competition between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, I want to see if Ben Ainslie wins his fourth consecutive gold, I want to see if (Valentina) Vezzali the Italian fencer also wins her fourth consecutive gold and many more of these events -- this is the richness of the Olympics," he said.

The opening ceremony for the London Games is later this month on July 27, the British capital the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.

Editors note: Watch out for the full interview between CNN's Amanda Davies and Jacques Rogge on World Sport

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