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Premier League clubs ordered to release players for Olympics

Premier League clubs have been told to forget about trying to block players from Olympics selection.

World football chiefs last night released a hardline statement saying all Under-23 players selected must be released by their clubs.

The statement read: "The executive decided the release of the Under-23 players by clubs for Olympic football tournaments will be compulsory."

The Court of Arbitration of Sport found in favour of Barcelona in 2008 when Lionel Messi was selected on the grounds the Olympics are not on the international calendar.

But the club allowed Messi to play and he won gold with Argentina.

FIFA believe the ruling went against them as they did not make it clear early enough that the release of the players was compulsory.

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