Football

Chelsea confirm Courtois is free to play in the Champions League

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Courtois is free to play against Chelsea
Courtois is free to play against Chelsea.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has insisted that the Premier League club will not stop Thibaut Courtois from featuring against the Blues in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Belgian has been on loan at the Vicente Calderon for the past three seasons and has established himself as one of the most promising young shotstoppers in Europe.

He helped Atletico reach the semi-finals with a superb victory over Barcelona this week - however reports surfaced after the game that he wouldn't be able to feature if his current club were drawn against Chelsea in the last four.

Altletico president Enrique Cerezo confirmed yesterday that his club would have to pay the Blues a fee believed to be in the region of £4.9 million in order for the young 'keeper to be allowed to play against his employers.

The two teams were duly paired together in today's draw - however UEFA had already issued a statement insisting it was against competition rules to stop anyone from playing against their parent club.

Now Gourlay has confirmed that Chelsea had no intention of stopping Courtois from playing.

"The loan was arranged back at the start of the season," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's quite simple - Thibaut can play against Chelsea. That was never in doubt. Regarding the UEFA statement, we'll evaluate that in due course. As far as Chelsea's concerned, we've complied with the loan rules."

The first leg of Chelsea's tie against Atletico will take place at the Vicente Calderon on April 22.

In the other Champions League semi-final, Bayern Munich will take on Real Madrid.

Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football
Chelsea
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