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Newcastle’s Europa League Conundrum

Modified 04 Feb 2013

The knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa league are almost upon us and with the spate of signings made by the club in the last transfer window, the club now has a decision that to make.

The decision involves which of their new players they should register into the competition as the choice at their disposal is limited but interesting.

The current rule, i.e. article 18 of the regulations of the UEFA Europa League 2012-15 cycle states that;

As a rule, a player may not play in a UEFA club competition (i.e. UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, but not UEFA Super Cup) for more than one club in the course of the same season. Exceptionally, however, a player who has been fielded in the first, second, third qualifying round or the play-offs of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League is entitled to play in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League for another club as from the group stage. Moreover, as from the start of the round of 32, a player can be registered in accordance with the following rules.

For all matches from the start of the round of 32, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 1 February 2013.

One player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded:

  • in the same competition for another club; or
  • For another club that is currently in the same competition.

What the rule in a nut shell means is that of all the five first team players that Newcastle have signed, they can only register three of them who can represent the club in the knockout stages.

Moussa Sissoko & Massadio Haidara can play should they be registered but Yoan Gouffran can’t, given the fact that Bordeaux are still in the competition. So, the choice there is clear cut. However, the tricky situation comes in the case of Mathieu Debuchy & Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who previously represented LOSC Lille and Montpellier HSC in the UEFA Champions league.


The rules clearly state that only one of them can be registered, so the ball is now in the club’s court as to whom they choose. A tough decision I would have thought, and I would like to think that both of them would like to play in Europe. The club seem to have both options covered, so would be interesting to see who eventually does get the nod.

If it were up to me, I would go for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The reason for that is simple. I see Debuchy getting more of an opportunity in the premier league and with Taylor and Coloccini the first choice center backs, I see opportunities limited for Yanga-Mbiwa, at least this term. Playing in Europa will help in integration; in addition, he can play as a right back if need be. So that is what I would go for.

The other 2 spots I will give to Moussa Sissoko & Massadio Haidara. This will provide the club with a really strong and a balanced squad to have a real go at a competition that I firmly believe Newcastle united can win.

Really looking forward to who the club chooses, would be interesting.

Published 04 Feb 2013, 12:14 IST
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