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Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:59 UK

Blatter sure of Olympic agreement

Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Blatter says he is sure any difficulties can be overcome

Fifa boss Sepp Blatter says he has no doubt men's football will remain in the Olympics, despite an ongoing dispute with the organisers over age limits.

Europe's top clubs want to make it for under-21s, an option favoured by Fifa.

The International Olympic Committee wants it to stay as an under-23 event, with three overage players allowed.

Fifa has set up a taskforce to examine the matter and Blatter says he is "sure" it can be resolved, adding: "I don't think football will be excluded."

The two sides have struggled to agree over the rules since Barcelona star Lionel Messi was almost prevented from leading Argentina to the Olympics last year. He went on to help his side win gold.

Olympic football is very attractive for the Olympic Games

Fifa boss Sepp Blatter

In June, the IOC warned that football could be kicked out of the Games if Fifa stood by its plan to alter the under-23 limit.

Europe's top clubs and Fifa both favour making it an under-21 event, although world football's governing body is also considering abolishing the age limit altogether and banning all players with World Cup experience instead.

Blatter said the taskforce will look at both options, but did not rule out further possible alternatives in order to keep football in the games.

"Olympic football is very attractive for the Olympic Games," said Blatter. "We have a huge and large history in the Olympic Games. More than 100 years of participation. I'm sure we can (overcome) the difficulties which may have (surfaced) in the past."

The Fifa taskforce, including representatives from all its member confederations, is due to report back in December at the international federation's meeting in South Africa.

Women's Olympic football currently has no age restrictions.

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see also
Fifa to keep Olympics age limit
04 Jun 09 |  Football
Argentina brave heat to take gold
23 Aug 08 |  Football
Messi makes the difference
23 Aug 08 |  African
Messi scores in Argentina victory
07 Aug 08 |  Football

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