Olympic format to remain unchanged for U-23s

FIFA has decided to retain the current format of the men's Olympic soccer competition, using the Under-23s with an option of selecting three over-aged players during the finals in London in 2012.

FIFA has decided to retain the current format of the men's Olympic soccer competition, using the Under-23s with an option of selecting three over-aged players during the finals in London in 2012.

This was announced by general secretary Jerome Valcke after the Fifa executive committee meeting on Robben Island, Cape Town, yesterday. Valcke said this was also in line with a recommendation of the Olympic football working group.

This ends speculation that the format would be changed from U-23s to U-21s due to intense pressure by some European clubs.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Spain's Barcelona took Argentina to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to fight against the inclusion of Lionel Messi. Barcelona won the case.

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