Brazilian duo set for Beijing
Schalke's Rafinha and Diego of Werder Bremen have been allowed to play in the Olympic Games by their clubs.
Last Updated: 06/08/08 6:18pm
Schalke defender Rafinha and Werder Bremen playmaker Diego have been allowed to play in the Olympic Games by their clubs.
Schalke and Werder Bremen have spent weeks battling Fifa's ruling that it is 'mandatory' for players under the age of 23 to be released for the tournament in China.
They won the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier on Wednesday but there has now been a sudden U-turn.
The clubs issued identical statements after consulting each other in the afternoon, and they duo will now compete for Brazil.
"We will release Rafinha to play at the Olympic Games if the Brazilian Football Association quickly create the conditions for his involvement," said Schalke general manager Andreas Muller, with Werder's Klaus Allofs echoing those statements in regard to Diego.
Those conditions include the provision of adequate insurance against injury, and the clubs have already contacted the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) to finalise the terms of a deal.
"This decision is in line with Fifa's appeal to allow the player to take part in the Olympics," Muller added.
Muller also admitted that it would have been counter-productive to withdraw Rafinha just days before Schalke's opening game of the season.
He said: "We could have done with our strongest squad for these matches. We firmly believe, however, that unfortunately there is absolutely no point in bringing Rafinha back one day before our opening game.
"All the frustration and the huge disappointment he would feel, coupled with the exertions of travelling, would not in our opinion have put him in a position to play to the best of his ability."