NYON: European federation has cautioned that Chelsea have no right to prevent on-loan goalkeeper Thibaud Courtois playing against them for Atletico de Madrid in the Champions League writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
UEFA issued its clarification before the clubs were drawn to face each other in the semi-finals.
Its statement indicated that Chelsea would face disciplinary action if it sought to influence Courtois’s appearance against them.
Media reports in both England and Spain had suggested that a clause in the loan deal insisted on a financial penalty for Atletico should they want to include the Belgian who has been outstanding during his spell in Spain.
Full draws – CHAMPIONS LGE semis: Real Madrid v Bayern Munich; At. Madrid v Chelsea. EUROPA LGE semis: Sevilla v Valencia, Benfica v Juventus
But UEFA said: “The integrity of sporting competition is a fundamental principle for UEFA.
“Both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations contain clear provisions which strictly forbid any club to exert, or attempt to exert, any influence whatsoever over the players that another club may (or may not) field in a match.
“It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as UEFA is concerned.
“Furthermore, any attempt to enforce such a provision would be a clear violation of both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and would therefore be sanctioned accordingly.”