There is confusion today as a UEFA rule change appears to state that Lyon’s FIFA loophole signing Tete CAN face West Ham next week.
West Ham were drawn to face the Ligue 1 side in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after beating Sevilla 2-1 on aggregate in the last 16.
Lyon meanwhile saw off Porto by the same aggregate score to set up the West Ham clash.
The first leg is at the London Stadium after the international break on April 7th with the match in Lyon taking place a week later.
Whoever wins out of West Ham and Lyon will face either Barcelona or Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final.
West Ham are being made favourites to progress by virtue of the fact the French side are 10th in the inferior Ligue 1 while the Hammers are pushing for the Premier League’s top six.
But last night Lyon may have thrown a rather talented spanner in the works.
As previously reported by Hammers News, the club were planning to use a FIFA loophole to try and make signings before the West Ham clash.
As reported first by Hammers News earlier this month, FIFA confirmed a one-month window – open until the day of the first West Ham vs Lyon clash on April 7th – will allow clubs to sign foreign players from clubs in Ukraine and Russia as a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Prem clubs have agreed not to use the window to protect the integrity of the competition.
But it appears UEFA have no such concerns when it comes to the Europa League.
Because it appears that after signing Brazilian wing wizard Tete from Shakhtar Donetsk yesterday, the French club CAN play him in the last eight ties against West Ham.
UEFA rules state that the 25-man squads submitted for the remainder of the Europa League competition from the last 32 knockout stage had to be named by February 2nd.
Players signed and registered before the February 2nd deadline would be allowed to play regardless of whether they had already played in the European competition for another club as UEFA did away with the old ‘cup-tied’ rules a few years ago.
In FIFA’s statements there was no mention of any amendments to the rules surrounding UEFA player registration for what remains of European competition this season.
Last season after Ajax signed Sebastien Haller from West Ham in January they accidentally forgot to register the striker in their Europa League squad by the deadline (The Sun).
And he was therefore not allowed to play in the competition.
But now there is confusion as a UEFA rule change appears to suggest Lyon’s FIFA loophole signing Tete can indeed face West Ham in Europa League quarter-final.
That’s according to a report from Goal.
“European clubs have been granted permission to register two more players – signed from Russian or Ukrainian clubs – to their squads for UEFA competitions… setting a deadline of April 1 for new players to be registered,” Goal reports.
“Any players snapped up by other teams across Europe can now be added to Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League squads.
“A statement on the organisation’s website read: “The UEFA Executive Committee today decided to amend the regulations of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, 2021/22 UEFA Europa League and 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League regulations, and to allow clubs to register a maximum of two new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competitions by 1 April 2022 (24:00 CET) at the latest”.”
Tete is a very talented player and one Hammers News urged David Moyes to consider signing when FIFA announced the loophole window.
But Prem clubs agreed not to use the window so West Ham cannot complain too loudly if indeed Tete does play.
And the star will undoubtedly be highly motivated to showcase his ability with Ukrainian clubs facing a very uncertain future even beyond the summer.