UEFA TO EASE RED DEVILS' KEEPER PROBLEM
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
MANCHESTER UNITED will be allowed to register another goalkeeper for the Champions League campaign - if they can provide Uefa with evidence that both Fabien Barthez and Raimond van der Gouw are 'long-term' casualties.
Speaking to planetfootball.com, a Uefa spokesman confirmed the ruling that allows teams to add goalkeepers to their registered squad at any time, if they can prove that only one custodian is fit to play.
The spokesman said: "If a club cannot count on the services of at least two goalkeepers because of long-term injury or illness, the club may temporarily replace a player and register a goalkeeper at any time during the season, as long as they haven't played in the same competition for another team.
"The club must provide Uefa with all of the necessary medical certification in order to do this.
"There is no official explanation of what a long-term injury is, so it is down to the discretion of Uefa.
"Manchester United must provide the medical evidence - so, depending on the injury, if he [Barthez] cannot play in the forthcoming matches then it is highly likely that they will be able to register another player."
Although a ruling is expected during the course of Monday, it appears that Sir Alex Ferguson will be granted permission to find a stop-gap keeper, should Barthez fail to make a full recovery.
Currently only American Paul Rachubka is fit, and Saturday's game against Leicester saw striker Dwight Yorke placed on stand-by, in case the youngster was sent off or injured.
Giant Dutch keeper van der Gouw is unlikely to figure, as he recently went under the surgeon`s knife to cure a long-standing knee problem.