LOS ANGELES - David Beckham has suggested he is not the right man to light the Olympic flame to officially open the London Games, saying on Thursday the honour should go to an Olympian who has won gold medals.
Admitting his disappointment at failing to make Britain's Olympic football squad, Beckham took himself out of the running for one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed on a sportsman or woman but offered no hint as to who should have the job of lighting the cauldron on 27 July.
"I've always said, lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian... who has done incredible things for our country and won gold medals," Beckham told reporters during an interview in Los Angeles.
After the decision to leave Beckham out of the Team GB football squad was announced, the odds on the Los Angeles Galaxy player lighting the Olympic cauldron were slashed with British bookmakers Ladbrokes quoting 5/1 at the time.
While Beckham has politely tried to remove himself from consideration as the athlete to open the Games, the former England captain had made no secret of his hopes of landing one of the three over-age spots in Stuart Pearce's Under-23 squad.
The world famous trend-setter, who is England's most capped outfield player with 115 appearances, has not featured for the national team since 2009 and instead of playing at the Games he will continue to perform his role as an Olympic ambassador.
"Obviously, all the talk of me possibly performing in the Olympics, it would have been a very proud moment for me," said Beckham, who was part of the bid team that helped win the Games.