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Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 17 hours ago
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Bayern MunichBayern Munich
VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 22, 2008

Bremen contact CAS in Diego Olympic row

BREMEN, July 22 (Bundesliga) - Werder Bremen have announced plans to contact the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to end the club-versus-country row with playmaker Diego.

The 23-year-old announced earlier on Tuesday he would travel to Beijing and represent Brazil at the Olympics following talks with the club.

Werder have been strongly opposed to Diego making the trip as it would rule him out of at least the opening two games of the Bundesliga season.

And while a statement on their official website, confirmed Diego would be travelling to China, he did not have the club's permission to do so.

'The Werder Bremen board of directors and Diego met on Tuesday morning to discuss their viewpoints in relation to the Brazilian international's wish to participate at the Olympic Games,' read the statement.

'After 90 minutes of talks the two parties failed to come to a mutual agreement.

'As a result of the talks, Werder Bremen will now contact the international sport tribunal, CAS, in order to force a speedy solution to the situation.

'Both Diego and the Werder Bremen board of directors have agreed to accept the decision of that arbitration.

'In the meantime, Diego will travel to the Brazilian Olympic selections meeting place in Paris, without permission from Werder Bremen.

'In compliance with the German Football League (DFL) and the German Football Federation (DFB), Werder Bremen maintain the viewpoint that they are under no obligation to release Diego for the Olympic tournament.

'Diego, on the other hand, considers himself obliged to accept the invitation of the Brazilian federation.

'The player fears that failure to appear at the Olympic selections meeting point in Paris could cause him great difficulties in his future international career.'

The club-versus-country row escalated further on Tuesday after Schalke filed a complaint over Rafinha's departure to join the Brazilian Olympic squad.

Rafinha, 22, chose to skip the start of Schalke's training camp on Monday and travel to Paris despite the ongoing dispute.

His actions led Schalke to file a complaint to FIFA on Tuesday, a move which earned the support of the DFB.

'The DFB supports the protest and shares the legal viewpoint of the football club that there is no obligation to release players since the Olympics football tournament is not in FIFA's international calendar of events and FIFA's executive committee have not presented a resolution obliging clubs to release players of a certain age,' read a press release from the DFB.

'The Brazilian travelled to the meeting point of the Brazilian Olympic team on Tuesday against the expressed will of his club.

'Schalke has announced it will start legal proceedings.'

DFB vice-president Dr Rainer Koch added: 'It is not right that a top European club like Schalke 04 is surprised with such a development three weeks before the start of the season.

'We are standing by Schalke 04 and the Bundesliga.'

Schalke are considering internal disciplinary action against Rafinha and have already asked the DFB for advice on their options.

FIFA have said publicly that it is 'mandatory' for clubs to release players aged 23 and under for the Olympic Games, but several clubs in Germany have questioned the validity of the rule, and the German league claims to have received word from FIFA that clubs will not be punished for preventing their players from travelling.

FIFA have so far declined to comment further.

Hertha Berlin also reiterated their opposition to striker Marko Pantelic, 29, playing in the Olympics after he was named in the Serbia squad.

The player emerged from a meeting on Monday afternoon resigned to the fact he would not be travelling to China.

Clubs are under no obligation to release overage players for the tournament.

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