Nyon, Switzerland: UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, and the governing body of football (soccer) in Europe, announced drastic rule changes to European competitions, effective next season.
Under the new guidelines, a player will be allowed to feature for two different clubs in the same European competition. The abolition of the “cup-tied” ruled means footballers who play for one club in the Champions League or Europa League group stage, can now play for a different club in the knockouts.
As it stands, players signed in January are not permitted to play for their new clubs in the Champions League or Europa League if they had already featured in that competition.
For instance, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is barred from playing for the London side in their Europa League campaign, and Philippe Countinho is also barred from featuring for Barcelona in the Champions League.
In the new guidelines, UEFA will also allow teams that have won the Europa League three consecutive times or at least five times to wear a special multiple-winner badge on the shirt sleeve.
Another change will see teams provide a list of 23 players, rather than usual 18, for the match sheet in the UEFA Champions League final, UEFA Europa League final and UEFA Super Cup.
Also, a fourth substitute will be allowed in knockout ties that go into extra time.
UEFA with 55 national association members – some in Asia – is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. The others are Asian Football Confederation (AFC; 47 members), Confederation of African Football (CAF; 56 members), Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF; 41 members), Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL; 10 members) and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC; 11 members)