Arsenal were forced to play their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich with only six substitutes on the bench after they found out that Ryo Miyaichi was ineligible to play after flying him out and naming him in the squad.
The gaffe was made even worse when Mesut Ozil was withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring injury, with Miyaichi by then watching the game from the stands as Arsenal were knocked out 3-1 on aggregate following a creditable 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.
Whether Miyaichi would have been used at all is unlikely against such superior opposition as Bayern, but it left Arsenal shorter than options than necessary and highlighted their injury plight, with Ozil joining Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines.
Arsene Wenger explained the mistake, telling reporters, “He was not qualified to play in the Champions League because I wanted to give him out on loan, so we took him off the list and UEFA informed us that he was not qualified.
“Because he was on the bench on Saturday (v Everton in the FA Cup), naturally he was with us, but honestly that did not have an impact on tonight’s result.”
Teams in the Champions League are permitted to have seven substitutes, but all players must be either registered in a 25 man squad or be under the age of 21 and been at the club continuously for three years.
While Miyaichi is still under the age of 21, his loan spells away from the club mean that he has not been on the books of the club officially for the three years required.Published 13 Mar 2014, 00:30 IST