UEFA has insisted that Chelsea are not allowed to enforce the clause in Thibaut Courtois’ loan-contract, which says Atletico Madrid would have to pay €3m (R 43 million) per game he plays against his parent club.
Atletico Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo, had yesterday confirmed that Courtois’ loan-clause exists and the keeper would be unlikely to feature Chelsea.
Both sides have been drawn to face one another in the Champions League semi-final, and UEFA stated that any agreements between clubs must be within UEFA laws.
UEFA had published a statement (before the draw today), saying:
"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."
When asked after the draw, Chelsea chief executive, Ron Gourlay, confirmed the Blues cannot prevent Courtois being fielded against them.
''It's quite simple. Thibaut can play against Chelsea. That was never in doubt,” he said.
''In regard to the UEFA statement, we will evaluate that over the next 24 to 36 hours but as far as Chelsea are concerned we complied with the loan rules.
''As far as the player is concerned, Thibaut, he can play against Chelsea, in both ties, if he is selected by the Atletico Madrid manager. That is fact.''
Can Thibaut Courtois be the difference in the tie between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid? Have your say in the comment section below.