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|August 23, 2000||
Romario to miss SydneyBrian Homewood in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil coach Wanderley Luxemburgo is standing by his decision not to take Romario to the Sydney Olympics despite an intense media campaign for the veteran striker's inclusion.
A statement issued by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on Wednesday said: "Wanderley understands and respects the wishes of the player but the decision made by the staff and the CBF is to take only players under the age of 23.
"If the decision had been to take over-age players then Romario would have been among the favourites for his will and his quality as a player."
The Olympic soccer tournament is limited to players under 23 but each team can field up to three over-age players.
Luxemburgo, coach of both Brazil's senior and Olympic teams, announced his squad on Friday and said he had decided against taking older players so that he could reward the squad who qualified the country in the first place.
Brazil have never won the Olympic soccer tournament and Romario, who is nearing his 35th birthday, has made public his desire to make history and add an Olympic gold to the World Cup winners medal he won in 1994.
Romario, who won a silver medal in the Seoul Olympics 12 years ago, had launched an emotional public appeal to Luxemburgo on Sunday after scoring both Vasco da Gama goals in their 2-1 win over Ponte Preta in a domestic game.
"It's the only title I haven't won in the national team.
"So I want to ask Wanderley once again to rethink the decision...If he gives me the chance I will prove that together we can wear the long-dreamed of gold medal."
Romario has not played a full international under Luxemburgo but has been named in the squad for September's World Cup qualifier at home to Bolivia.
His efforts to go to Sydney had won the almost unanimous backing of the media.
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