News today in the Newcastle Journal that Newcastle have blocked Papiss Cisse from playing in the London Olympics, after it became news that he would be one of the three Senegal players selected, who were over the age of 23.
And that seems fair to us, because Papiss played in the African Cup of Nations last January, and will be playing in next January’s African tournament in South Africa, and Newcastle would like to have the lad available for them – since they do pay his wages.
The African Cup of Nations moving to odd years – for whatever reason – has meant that there will be four African Cup of Nations in the last five years (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013), and having the Olympics in there too, is just too much for a club like Newcastle.
Cisse was expected to join the Senegal squad at a training camp in Spain in the next few days, so we assume that will not now happen.
But Newcastle are still in discussions with the Senegal FA, and they could be delicate, but Newcastle are citing the ruling that clubs are not obliged to release over-age players for the Olympic Games.
And there is a precedent to this from four years ago, when Lionel Messi was selected to play for the Argentine, and at that time the Court of Arbitration for Sport backed Barcelona’s decision to block his call-up.
But Barcelona did eventually let Messi play in the tournament in Beijing, China, but we hope that Newcastle hold firm, since they seem to have the law on their side, and it would seem fine, as long as Papiss Cisse is not desperate to play in the Olympics.
What do you think?