Source Pravda.Ru

Alaves complains over FC Barcelona's Messi

Alaves has accused FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi of playing in Saturday's game against Osasuna without holding a current playing licence, news reports said Tuesday.

Alaves lodged a complaint with the Spanish federation on Tuesday on the grounds that Messi's licence was "irregular" and "illegal", the club's legal advisor Javier Tebas told Radio Marca.

Alaves said when the teenager obtained his licence as an "assimilated" player last season, a non-EU player who has spent five years with a club's junior teams, such status had been abolished.

The complaint is Alaves' second over the licence of the Argentina international, who received Spanish citizenship last month. The federation rejected the Basque team's initial complaint regarding Messi's first appearance in a league game this season with Zaragoza on Oct. 2.

Alaves said then that Barcelona shouldn't have fielded Messi, arguing his licence was rendered inoperative when he became a Spanish citizen five days earlier.

Another club, Deportivo La Coruna, also complained unsuccessfully. It said that Messi's change in status came after the offseason transfer window had closed, and argued the teenager must wait until the next one opens in December for it to take effect.

Before he gained dual citizenship, Messi missed Barcelona's first five league games because he was deemed ineligible by the Spanish league although he was allowed by UEFA to play in Champions League games, AP reports.

A. A.