Football

Switch in Champions League allowed

Players who switch clubs during a season will be allowed to play for both in the Champions League under new rules announced by Uefa yesterday.

Uefa said in a statement that it would also allow teams to use a fourth substitute in extra-time during Champions League and Europa League knockout ties.

The new ruling, effective next season, means that a player fielded by one club in the group stage of the Champions League, and is transferred during the January window, can play for his new club in the knockout stages.

The same applies to the Europa League.

Under current rules, clubs who qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League or Europa League are allowed to register three new players.

These can include one player who has represented a different club in the Europa League group stages but none who have been fielded for another club in the Champions League group stage.

The present ruling prevents Barcelona from fielding Philippe Coutinho in the Champions League as he has already played for Liverpool.

Alexis Sanchez was eligible for Man United, however, as he switched from Arsenal in the Europa League to the Champions League.

The new rules state that "that a club may register three new eligible players without any restrictions". - REUTERS

Football