Thibaut Courtois CAN play for Atlético vs Chelsea in Champions League | inside World Soccer

Thibaut Courtois CAN play for Atlético vs Chelsea in Champions League

Saturday, April 12, 2014

UEFA have insisted that Atlético Madrid's on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would be able to play against his parent club in the Champions League semi-final at no additional cost.

The 21-year-old Belgian is in his third season on loan with the Spanish club from Chelsea and the teams were paired together in Friday's draw in Nyon.

Chelsea, 9/2 with bet365 to be crowned champions, will have to see off Atlético if they want to reach a second Champions League final in three seasons.

Media reports suggested Courtois had a clause in his contract stating that if the two sides met in the Champions League, Atlético would have to pay Chelsea €3 million per match to use him against his parent club.

Atlético President Enrique Cerezo announced after the quarterfinals that the club would not be able to afford this fee, and therefore would abide by the agreement with the Blues.

But UEFA became involved on Friday morning, insisting that their rules render any contract between the two teams null and void.

A UEFA statement issued prior to the draw read: "In response to media reports referring to the situation of Club Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, UEFA would like to reiterate its position.

"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."

Chelsea Chief Executive Ron Gourlay confirmed that Courtois was free to play in the match - though he made no mention of any fee the Spaniards would have to pay.

He told Sky Sports News: "The loan was arranged back at the start of the season. It's quite simple - Thibaut can play against Chelsea. That was never in doubt.

"Regarding the UEFA statement, we'll evaluate that in due course. As far as Chelsea's concerned, we've complied with the loan rules."

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