Messi’s going to Beijing

Good news for Sergio Batista. Lionel Messi’s decision was announced on Wednesday, and he’s got FIFA’s backing: he wants to link up with Argentina’s Olympic squad for the Beijing 2008 Games. With the callup now accepted by the player, Barcelona are obliged under FIFA’s regulations to release Messi for the tournament, since as an under-23, he falls into the age group for whom it’s considered an official FIFA tournament (clubs aren’t obliged to release the three over-age players in Olympic squads). ‘If FIFA say I have to stay [in Barcelona], I’ll stay,’ Messi said to the world’s press on Wednesday. ‘If they say I can go, I’ll go without waiting for the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport [to whom Barça had appealed in an effort to keep their star at the club], because if I wait I’m going to arrive too late.’ The decision has a knock-on effect for Brazil: Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen will also be obliged to release Rafinha and Diego for the competition as a result of FIFA’s decision over the Messi case.

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One thought on “Messi’s going to Beijing

  1. Thanks for that bit of news.

    and, YAY. What great news, both for us (argentina) and for the seriousness of the olympics in general. If sub-23 players couldn’t get automatically released… that would make everything quite a bit more complicated.

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