ZURICH • Players who switch clubs midway through a season will be allowed to play for their new side in the Champions League under new rules announced by Uefa yesterday.
The European football body 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, to come into effect next season, means that a player who been 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 stages of either 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 stage but none who has been fielded for another team in the Champions League group stage.
The current ruling prevents Barcelona from fielding Philippe Coutinho in the Champions League as he has already played for Liverpool. Alexis Sanchez was eligible for Manchester United in the Champions League, however, as he moved from Arsenal in the Europa League.
Uefa said 23 players, instead of 18, would be allowed on team sheets for the Champions League and Europa League finals, and the European Super Cup.