CHELSEA have suffered a Champions League blow with Thomas Tuchel told he will have to play his last 16 second leg tie at Lille without any unvaccinated players.

Sun Sport revealed that Uefa were finalising the precise regulations for the knockout phase of the competition after the French government signalled a Covid crackdown.

Chelsea could be missing some of its players who are unvaccinated

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Chelsea could be missing some of its players who are unvaccinated

The French have now decided any athlete coming to compete in the country will have to be vaccinated to be allowed to enter a sports arena.

And Uefa have now effectively agreed to enforce all national Covid requirements in their competitions, even if that means teams having to field understrength teams.

In a statement, European football’s governing body said: “Uefa is liaising with the relevant stakeholders across Europe ahead of the resumption of club competitions in February. 

“The specific conditions under which matches are played in each country are subject to the decisions of the competent authorities in that country. 

“Each team will in principle be required to comply with the applicable rules in the country where the match takes place.

“The specific competition Annexes – still under elaboration – which contain special rules due to Covid-19 applicable to the knock-out phase, may provide further guidance in this regard.”

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Tuchel was hoping for some good news after his Blues dropped more points at Brighton on Tuesday, leading to further questions about his long-term future.

But while the final draft of the regulations is not expected before next week, the clear signal will affect Chelsea and Real Madrid, due to travel to the Parc des Princes to face PSG in the first leg next month.

It is understood that at least three members of Tuchel’s senior first team squad are unvaccinated which would prevent them from travelling across the Channel for the tie.

Tough Covid requirements also apply in Italy and theoretically also affect Liverpool, who were drawn against Inter Milan.

Kop boss Jurgen Klopp has however said that “99 per cent” of his squad are vaccinated, meaning it should not be an issue.

The French demands will also impact on England’s final Six Nations game at the Stade de France in March, with centre Henry Slade one of up to five members of Eddie Jones’ squad who are unvaxxed.

Blues boss Tuchel is facing up to having more players absent

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Blues boss Tuchel is facing up to having more players absent

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