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Women´s football kicks-off Beijing Games

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Aug 2008

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It may be two days until the official opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics but Wednesday saw the first action of this year's Games, with the women's football tournament kicking-off the action.

Far away from the Chinese capital in Shenyang, northeast China, Germany and Brazil played out a goalless draw in the opening match of the competition.

The honour of scoring the first goal fell to Canada's Candace Chapman whose 27th minute effort sent her side on the way to a 2-1 win over Argentina in Tianjin, just east of Beijing.

In the day's other early kick-off match Japan and New Zealand played out a 2-2 draw.

However, a shadow was cast over the men's football tournament, which starts on Thursday.

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is set to be barred from competing in Beijing for the reigning Olympic champions after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that clubs were not obliged to release their players as the tournament was not listed in world football governing body FIFA's calendar.

Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Schalke had all been fighting to keep their young stars — Messi and Brazil's Diego and Rafinha — out of the Games, which clash with their own seasons, after appealing an earlier FIFA ruling.

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