Not enough Cooks spoil the medal chancesPosted on


The BOA will today decide on the appeal of Aaron Cook who was not selected for Team GB’s Taekwondo squad despite being the world number 1 in his weight.

His omission appears baffling, omitted in favour of a fighter ranked 93rd, but it does raise the question of when is a selector allowed to use subjective judgement? And when is a team selection final? Roy Hodgson recently omitted Rio Ferdinand for “footballing reasons” but what if Ferdinand sought to review this decision and, like Cook, made an application to see the minutes of selection meetings? Football, and team sports, are naturally very much subjective, in terms of selection, however, Taekwondo is not track and field, where times or distances give a strong indication of performance.

Should the selection team be allowed to live and die by their decision?

The key seems to be in the perception that there may have been some “non Taekwondo reasons” behind the omission. Cook chose to leave GB Taekwondo’s high performance programme last year and he clearly feels this had a significant bearing on the decision. If he’s right then that is indeed perverse and the decision should be overturned.

Rio Ferdinand appears to accept, as most do, that Roy Hodgson is a man of integrity and that he genuinely felt that John Terry’s partnership with Gary Cahill at Chelsea and the risk of taking two centre halves who may have lost a yard of pace, meant that Rio should be omitted. But what if he had relied on “non footballing reasons” out of Ferdinand’s control?

It is always a shame when sport ends up before adjudicating bodies and tribunals. It is like all litigation or disputes – action should only be brought whenabsolutely necessary. It would appear, judging by authoritative voices such as Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, that Cook’s case is indeed one of those rare occasions.

I just hope Nicklas Bendtner doesn’t get any ideas if he misses out on the FIFA Ballon d’Or in July.

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