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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Barcelona ready to take Messi case to CAS

Barcelona ready to take Messi case to CAS

July 29, 2008 13:54 IST

Barcelona will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if FIFA tell them to release Argentine forward Lionel Messi for the Olympic Games, club president Joan Laporta said on Monday.

"We are in no doubt that the rules are on our side," said Laporta. "We are not obliged to release the player."

Laporta said the 21-year-old would leave with the rest of the first team for a pre-season promotional tour of the United States on Wednesday.

Laporta added that the club wants to "find a consensus solution that will suit both Barcelona and the AFA [Argentine Football Association]."

Barcelona said on their website that they want the player for the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie scheduled for August 12.

They added that if the tie looked to be going clearly in their favour then they would release Messi for the final rounds of the August 7-23 Olympic soccer tournament. Argentina are the defending champions.

"The player wants to defend the interests of both Barcelona and the Argentine national side," said Laporta.

Last week FIFA president Sepp Blatter said clubs must release their eligible Under-23 players for the Olympic soccer tournament but leading clubs have said they are under no obligation to do so.

FIFA are expected to make an announcement about the issue on Tuesday.

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