Arsene Wenger thought the Japanese youngster was eligible for Champions League football, but was unaware of the rules – Goal brings you a selection of similar clangers
By Enis Koylu
In a rather farcial episode, Arsenal had to withdraw young winger Ryo Miyaichi from their matchday squad to face Bayern Munich on Tuesday after it emerged that the Japan international was ineligible for the Champions League.
As the 21-year-old had been at the club for over three years and, the Gunners had assumed that he did not have to be registered. But, due to his loan spells at Feyenoord, Wigan and Bolton, he had not spent the necessary time at the club to qualify.
As a result, Arsene Wenger had only six of his seven substitutes at his disposal due to the clerical error and Goal is here to bring you some similar examples of administrative clangers.
The north Londoners are far from the first team to overlook a youngster thinking he was eligible. AC Milan director Umberto Gandini assumed responsibility for an oversight which saw M’Baye Niang left off their list for Europe’s top competition earlier this term. In the end, they were able to qualify for the last 16 without the Frenchman, but he was on loan at Montpellier by the time they were eliminated by Atletico.
In the 2000-01 Uefa Cup, PSV were without both Eric Addo and Ruud van Nistelrooy for the first half of the season due to injury but they had recovered in time for the knockout tie with Kaiserslautern. Unfortunately for both players, their club had forgotten to register them. They appealed to Uefa, but in vain.
False start | Arsenal’s oversight cost Ryo a place on the bench against Bayern
There are other clubs who have fallen foul of Uefa regulation. In 1992-93, Stuttgart would have won a first-round Champions League tie against Leeds United, having won the first leg 3-0 and lost the second 4-1. However, they had fielded a fourth foreigner as a substitute in the second leg when only three were allowed to play in a single match. A play-off was played on neutral turf, which the English side won.
During his time at Kaiserslautern in 1998, Otto Rehhagel made a similar mistake. When preparing to introduce another overseas player, the stadium announcer proclaimed over the tannoy: “Otto, count your foreigners.” A convenient injury to the Egyptian Hany Ramzy saved the day.
Predictably, South America is something of a hotbed for mix-ups over player eligibility. Last year, both Portuguesa and Flamengo both fielded stars who were suspended for the last matchday of the Brasileirao. Portuguesa were docked four points for the affair, leaving them in the drop zone, but Flamengo escaped similar punishment, saving them from relegation. The clubs are still fighting over it.
Staying in Brazil, young full-back Luis Felipe extended his Palmeiras contract in mid-2013, signing a new deal which was supposed to expire in 2014. However, a clerical error meant the agreement ran out in December 2013. The two parties are currently locked in a legal battle but the player himself is looking to win a free transfer to Europe.
So, monsieur Wenger, you are far from alone.