Can Joao Cancelo Play Against Man City In UCL Quarter Finals?
Manchester City have been handed a tough draw against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
It’s also a tie which will reunite a few familiar faces. Pep Guardiola previously enjoyed Bundesliga title success in Bavaria, while Leroy Sane now plays for the German giants. Should City come out on top, they’ll face either Real Madrid or Chelsea in the semi finals.
The eligibility of Joao Cancelo has also come into question. In the January transfer window, one move that surprised everyone was the right back’s loan from City to Bayern, and as fate would have it the two teams are now set to square off for a place in the last four.
Will Joao Cancelo play against Man City for Bayern Munich?
Thanks to a rule change in the 2018/19 season, it now no longer matters if a player has played in the Champions League for another team earlier in the competition. This is the same for the Europa League and the Europa Conference League.
The only thing that could have stopped Cancelo from playing for Bayern against City was if the German side had already registered three new players from the winter transfer window for the knockout phases of the Champions League.
Clubs had until February 2 to confirm their squads for the latter stages and Cancelo was included in Bayern’s list, meaning there is nothing stopping him from helping Julian Nagelsmann knock City out of the Champions League.
While there are rules in the Premier League that prevent loan players featuring against their parent clubs, no such statute exists in European competitions. Philippe Coutinho scored against Barcelona for Bayern in the famous 8-2 thumping, while in 2015/16 Kingsley Coman netted in a clash with parent side Juventus.
Could Man City try to stop Joao Cancelo from playing?
There was a similar situation back in 2014 involving Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. The goalkeeper was on loan at Atleti from Chelsea when the pair were drawn together in the semi finals of the Champions League.
There were some reports that Atleti would need to pay a £2.5m fee for each match, but UEFA soon released a statement saying this was not the case and he was free to play.
The statement from UEFA said: “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.”
It therefore seems that there is nothing City can do to try and stop the Portugal international from playing against them.