The disagreement between Barcelona and the Argentina national team over Lionel Messi continues as Barca has said that they will take the player on tour to the United States and Italy even if FIFA demands a release. The tours won’t conflict with the Olympic games, so it isn’t the biggest deal, although Argentina may want Messi early for training.

The real dispute comes over what happens in August, when the Olympics start. The Argentinean team wants Messi for the Olympics, but under FIFA rules, Barca must release him first. The European club is reluctant on letting him go because they want him for early Champions League games in August, which conflict with the Olympic schedule. Barca expects a Champions League qualifier on the 12th or 13th of August, which in the midst of the Olympic football tournament (which is from August 6-23.)

FIFA is expected to make a final decision on the issue by Tuesday. Most people expect FIFA to side with the international team after they made it mandatory for teams to release players under the age of 23. Messi is only 21. The Catalan club isn’t so easy to give in though and it has made it pretty obvious that they will dispute the decision to soccer’s highest appeal body, the Court of Arbitration for Sport should the expected happen in Tuesday’s decision.


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