Barcelona have lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after Fifa ruled the club must release Lionel Messi for the Olympic Games.
Messi has made it clear that he wishes to go to the Olympics but Barcelona have made it equally clear that they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want him to.
Fifa ruled on Wednesday that clubs must release players aged 23 or under for the Olympics if a nation requests them.
Barcelona join German clubs Schalke and Werder Bremen in appealing to the CAS after losing key players to the Games.
The CAS have said they will deliver their final ruling on or before 6 August 2008.
Barcelona want Messi for the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie on 12 August. But with the Olympic football tournament set to begin on 7 August they would have to make do without their star player. However, if Barcelona truly believe they will need Messi to help dispose of Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow, then they are almost certainly doomed anyway!
Messi says he understands Barcelona’s position but for him, like millions of others, it was a dream for him to play in an Olympic team for his country.
He stated: “From the beginning I’ve said that I want to play for my national team and I’ve never had problems until now. If I get there and the CAS says I have to come back then I will come back. For the moment I want to be with my national team and my team-mates.”
(Source – BBC)
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