After beating PSG to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, many Chelsea fans were hoping for a draw against Atletico Madird.
Their goalkeeper and one of their most important players, Thibaut Courtois, is in Spain on loan from Chelsea. There had been talk of a clause in Courtois’ contract which meant he wouldn’t be allowed to face his former club, unless £4.95m was paid to Chelsea.
UEFA have today released a statement to confirm that to maintain the integrity of the competition, Courtois would be allowed to face Chelsea if the two teams were drawn against each other.
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.