European clubs win Olympic appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport today ruled in favour of European clubs in their battle against Fifa, allowing them to pull players out of the Olympics.

Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Schalke had taken their case to CAS after arguing that Fifa's position that it was "mandatory" for all players aged 23 and under to be released was not enforceable as the Olympics do not appear on Fifa's official calendar.



The decision means that Barcelona will pull Lionel Messi out of the Argentina squad, while Rafinha and Diego will be recalled from Brazil by Schalke and Werder Bremen respectively.



It is not expected that any other players will be withdrawn as they have travelled with the permission of their clubs.



"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeals filed by FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona against the decision issued on 30 July 2008 by the Single Judge of the Fifa's Players' Status Committee that consequently has been set aside in its entirety," said a CAS statement.



CAS found that Fifa's position was based on custom rather than law, meaning clubs could not be forced to release their players.



"The Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 is not included in the Co-ordinated Match Calendar and there is no specific decision of the Fifa Executive Committee establishing the obligation for the clubs to release players under 23 for this tournament.



"The requirements to justify a legal obligation of clubs to release their players for the Football Tournament Beijing 2008 on the basis of customary law are not met."



The three clubs made the appeal as they do not want the players to miss the start of the season. The Bundesliga season in Germany begins before the conclusion of the Olympics and Schalke will also play a Champions League qualifier.



Barcelona will have also have a Champions League qualifier to play before the Olympics conclude.



The tournament in Beijing begins tomorrow, one day before the official opening ceremony of the Games.



The vast majority of players at the Olympics have travelled with their club's permission, with some of them such as Belgium's Vincent Kompany cutting deals to allow them to play.



In its statement, CAS stated that it hoped the decision would not cause major disruption to the tournament.



"In view of Fifa's recommendation made to the clubs to release their players as well as of the Olympic spirit, the CAS call upon the good will and good sense of Fifa and the clubs to find a reasonable solution with regard to players who wish to represent their country in the Olympic Games," the statement said.



Fifa is yet to respond to the CAS ruling, but president Sepp Blatter had said the governing body would accept the court's decision.



The format of the Olympic tournament is now expected to be reviewed before the 2012 Olympics in London.



Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup