Gandini apologises for error after misunderstanding.
A mistake in the drafting of their Champions League list has ensured that AC Milan youngster M’Baye Niang will play no part in the group stages of the competition.
The Rossoneri finalised their 25-man squad on Tuesday, and sent it off to UEFA before realising that they had made a mistake.
According to UEFA’s regulations, Stephan El Shaarawy could have been selected in the ‘B List’ and played his part in the competition while Niang would then have had a slot available in the ‘A List’ and been eligible.
However, the 18-year-old will now be forced to watch from the sidelines for games against Barcelona, Ajax and Celtic, as Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri will hope to come through the tough group unscathed.
It is unlikely that his absence will be felt too greatly given the summer arrivals of Alessandro Matri and Kaka, but it is undoubtedly a huge blow for the player who hopes to grow into an integral part of this Milan squad.
Speculation over the summer has suggested that he could be sent out on loan in order to gain valuable playing time, while his agent, Mino Raiola, was not impressed with the club’s actions.
The Rossoneri later released an official statement on their website, where Gandini took responsibility for the error and apologised to the club’s supporters.
“Umberto Gandini, director of the AC Milan organisation, assumes the responsibility for the error in the compilation of the Champions League lists for not having taken into account in the drafting of such legislation that Uefa allows the inclusion of players born after January 1, 1992 with at least two years of experience at the club between the ages of 15 and 21 in the B List,” a statement on the club’s official website read as quoted by ESPN FC.
“Umberto Gandini regrets this error and apologises to all parties concerned, as well as professionally to the Rossoneri fans.”
Milan will begin their European campaign at home to Celtic on September 18, and will now hope that the mistake doesn’t effect their chances of progressing to the last 16.