August 2, 2008 / 10:09 AM / in 9 years

Barcelona appeal to CAS over Messi's release

MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona have appealed against FIFA’s decision ordering them to release Argentine under-23 player Lionel Messi to compete in the Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said.

CAS said the appeal would be handled at the same time as those made by German clubs Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 and that the ruling would be delivered on or before August 6.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, said last week that clubs must release players aged under 23 selected for the Aug 8-24 Olympic Games.

Fiorentina's Felipe Melo (R) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi run for the ball during their friendly soccer match at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence July 30, 2008. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

Argentina have been grouped with Ivory Coast, Australia and Serbia in the preliminary round in Beijing.

Barcelona want the forward to be available for their Champions League third qualifying round clash against Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow with the first leg to be played on Aug 12 or 13.

(Writing by Simon Baskett in Madrid, editing by Miles Evans)

For more stories visit our multimedia website "Road to Beijing" here; and see our blog at blogs.reuters.com/china

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