Courtois free to face Chelsea, insist UEFA
11 April 2014, 13:53
Madrid - Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be free to face his parent club Chelsea UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
European football's governing body said that any provision in Courtois' loan agreement preventing his participation is against the competition's rules, UEFA claimed on Friday.
"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," European football's governing body said in a statement.
"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."
Courtois has been a key player as Atletico progressed to the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in 40 years by knocking out Barcelona with a 1-0 win in their quarter-final, second leg on Wednesday to seal a 2-1 on aggregate victory.
However, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo told Spanish radio station Onda Cero after the match that his side would have to pay "a lot of money" for the Belgian international to face Chelsea due to a provision in his contract.
Reports in the Spanish media estimated the fee to be three million euros ($4.17 million) per match.
Courtois has already faced Chelsea once as an Atletico player in the European Supercup last season as the Spaniards ran out 4-1 victors.