November 27 - UEFA have unanimously backed a proposal to limit participation in future Olympic Games to players under the age of 21 which, if adopted, would keep players like Wayne Rooney (pictured) and Lionel Messi out of the London 2012 Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to keep the status quo of under-23s plus three overage players, which allows countries to bolster their teams with star names and enhances the appeal and credibility of the Olympic tournament.

But UEFA's strategy council of clubs, national associations, leagues and players' unions have unanimously agreed that the men's Olympic tournament should be changed to under-21.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has previously suggested dropping the age limit, or even abolishing the limit altogether but barring players with World Cup experience.

Europe's top clubs do not want to lose players for pre-season training and Champions League qualifying matches.

FIFA and the IOC have been struggling to reach an agreement on player eligibility since current rules nearly prevented Barcelona star Messi from leading Argentina to the gold medal in Beijing last year.

UEFA has eight delegates on FIFA's 24-member ruling Executive Committe, which will discuss the issue in Cape Town next week.

FIFA will then send a report to the IOC's Executive Board, which meets December 9-11.

Related stories
September 2009: FIFA to discuss solution to London 2012 football tournament age row
September 2009: Europe's top football clubs demand London 2012 tournament be under-21
June 2009: Rogge wants no change to Olympic football for London 2012
June 2009: Blatter backs down on Olympic age plan for London 2012
September 2008: Europe's top clubs determined to fight FIFA over Olympics