The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) ruled yesterday that FC Barcelona is not legally obliged to release Lionel Messi for the Beijing Olympic Games. The reason for this decision is that the Olympic football tournament is not included in the FIFA calendar.

However, it seems certain that FC Barcelona will allow the Argentinian star, who is already in Beijing for the tournament, to take part in it representing his country. Barça’s coach Pep Guardiola has stated that the club’s position on the matter will be announced shortly, after a conversation between himself and the player takes place. Messi has made clear in the past few days that it is his desire to participate in the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the Argentinians will be making their debut in the competition taking on Ivory Coast today, and the team’s coach Sergio Batista has confirmed that Leo Messi will be in the starting eleven for this game.