International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge supported the decision to omit David Beckham from the British football squad at the London Olympics in comments to CNN on Wednesday.
Rogge said that it was British coach Stuart Pearce's job to select the best players to give the host squad its best chance for success when the London Olympic tournament kicks off later this month.
"If the head coach decides not to field the player that's the end of it," Rogge 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."
Rogge, 70, said he would have "loved" to have seen former England football captain Beckham, a major player in the bidding to bring the Games to London, on the field in the Olympics.
"He has done a great job in bidding for the Games," Rogge said. "He has a great personality. He has a very likeable person. But it's the law of sport."
Rogge said he plans to watch competition in all 26 sports on offer at London, looking forward to seeing a swim showdown between US stars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and the men's 100-meter athletics final on August 5.
"I want to see the fight between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the sprint," Rogge said.
Blake defeated Bolt, the reigning 100m and 200m Olympic champion and world record-holder, in both events at last weekend's Jamaican Olympic trials.