Diego the latest to be blocked from Games

July 16, 2008


Werder Bremen have dashed the Olympic hopes of Brazil playmaker Diego, telling the 23-year-old they will not release him and thus depriving the Games of perhaps one of the world’s most exciting young players

Werder sporting director Klaus Allofs said there was no legal reason for clubs to release their players because, he said, the Olympics are not part of world soccer’s governing body FIFA.

“So I’m not expecting any reaction from FIFA,” Allofs said.

Just last week FIFA said that even though clubs are not obliged to release overage players they must release any players younger than 23. Diego turned 23 on Feb. 28 and he was nominated for Brazil’s Olympic team on July 8 by coach Dunga.

Diego got his first cap for Brazil in April 2003 as a 19-year-old so how are Werder getting away with this? Why will Diego be spending August training with his club on Germany’s North Sea island of Nordeney instead of playing for Brazil in China?

Werder released a statement from Diego that said: “The Olympics are my dream. But Werder don’t want to release me. I’ll respect that. I don’t want to cause any problems.”

But Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday that Diego has not given up yet. “I don’t know yet what I’ll do. I’ll wait to see what FIFA decides,” he was quoted as saying.

AC Milan have stopped Kaka from going and Barcelona said Brazilian compatriot Ronaldinho could not attend. Ronaldinho has just moved to Milan from Barca so all eyes are on what the Italian club decide. 

Is it time FIFA made a definitive ruling.

PHOTO: Diego scores for Werder against Bayern Munich, Feb 10. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach


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That is a travesty. The Olympic stage offers a wonderful opportunity for young up coming talented players to be seen.


Posted by kovolikessoccer | Report as abusive

You really have to wonder if soccer has a place in the Olympics.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

this pissing match between FIFA and the IOC is a joke. The only reason we have this mess where only U-23’s are releasable is because FIFA was afraid that the Olympics would overshadow the WC which is nonsense.

I wish they would make it a full senior side tournament. Hell, just take all the Confederations Cup qualifiers and make them the Olympic sides. Problem solved.

Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive

[…] disappointment for those hoping for an exciting Olympic soccer tournament, as Diego is blocked from playing by Werder Bremen. It’s no surprise Fifa aren’t stepping in to support a tournament they’ve always […]

Posted by Pitch Invasion » Links » The Daily Sweeper (July 16) | Report as abusive

Funny the NY times is still listing diego on the roster?
I wonder what is the truth?


Posted by kovolikessoccer | Report as abusive

Diego the latest to be blocked from Games…

Werder Bremen have dashed the Olympic hopes of Brazil playmaker Diego, telling the 23-year-old they will not release him and thus depriving the Games of perhaps one of the world’s most exciting young players…

Posted by 52.co.nz | Report as abusive

Can someone please go into detail about the actual rules surrounding a club’s obligation to release a player? With all of these players leaving training camps without the clubs consent, one of the two sides has to be blatanly in the wrong. For u23, either they have to go because they were listed in the squad or they’re in the wrong and should be sanctioned for leaving training.

Posted by clement | Report as abusive

Clement, the rule in question – http://www.sportinglife.com/football/ove rseas/germany/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_N AME=soccer/08/07/10/SOCCER_FIFA.html&TEA MHD=germany

FIFA have released a statement saying: “In view of the importance of the Olympic Tournament for the entire sporting movement in general and football in particular, as well as on the basis of customary law, the release of players younger than 23 has always been mandatory for all clubs. For Beijing 2008 the same principle shall apply.

Clubs are not obligated to release players over the age of 23 – of which three are allowed per nation under Olympics rules – for the tournament.

“This is not a new position and the regulations have not changed.”

“Regarding the three players who are over 23 and selected by their member associations, the release of these players is not compulsory according to the FIFA regulations.

“However, the FIFA executive committee, during its meeting of 14 March, made an appeal to the solidarity of the clubs in order to release these players.”

I had lifted the rule from the link actually. It was first published from like almost two weeks ago. Regarding Diego’s case, it seemed that he was off to the airport to join his fellow Brazilian team-mates following talks with his club today. But then Diego had been a vital member of his club and the club could still challenge the fact that they are not obliged to release him for the Olympics. That is the sticky situation. By the way, he is 23 this year.

Diego’s team-mate on the Brazilian Olympic squad Schalke’s 22-year old Rafinha chose to walk out of the club on his own yesterday and didn’t join in the club’s pre-season training in Austria. Schalke had said that they will take action against him and the thing is, they also have the backing of the German FA (or the DFB) and the DFL (German Football League). Schalke, the DFB and the DFL are challenging on the fact that since it is not part of the FIFA’s international footballing schedule, the clubs have the final say in whether their players are allowed for the Olympics.

Mike, I have to agree with you. Together with the fact that Brazil has never won an Olympic gold medal yet and Dunga’s future as the national coach of Brazil (he is both the coach of the senior national team and the Olympic squad as well) is uncertain as the country is already struggling to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, some had said that an Olympic gold in Beijing next month will be the only thing to still keep him on the job. It’s precisely because of no gold medal to show for when it comes to Olympic football at the moment, the Olympic football tournament is also viewed equally important as the World Cup in Brazil.

Posted by diana | Report as abusive