Explained: Why Conor Gallagher is not playing for Crystal Palace vs Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final

Conor Gallagher Crystal Palace 2021-22Getty Images

The FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace is sure to be a special occasion as the London rivals duke it out for a place in the final and a shot at silverware.

Palace, however, must make do without one of their best players this season, Conor Gallagher, much to the chagrin of head coach Patrick Vieira.

"He has played all the games so far," reflected the former Arsenal midfielder. "And if there’s somebody who deserves to be in the semi-final, it’s him because of his performances, so I’m disappointed he won’t be able to play."

So what is the rule that prohibits Gallagher from playing on this occasion? GOAL brings you everything you need to know.

Why is Conor Gallagher not playing for Crystal Palace vs Chelsea?

Gallagher is not permitted to play for Palace against Chelsea due to a clause in his loan agreement which does not allow him to take part in fixtures against his parent club.

He had featured in the Eagles' previous FA Cup fixtures against Millwall, Hartlepool United, Stoke City and Everton. However, he will have to watch on from the stands as Vieira's side make a push for the final.

Such clauses are common in football loan transfers and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who has steered the Blues to Champions League glory, was adamant that he is not in the business of helping his opponents.

Nevertheless, the German coach expressed understanding, noting that he said sorry to Gallagher.

"I had the chance to speak to Conor, I could also see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, after the national break by coincidence. We ran into each other in a restaurant and we had a chat," Tuchel told reporters ahead of the semi-final.

"The subject came up, I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot, I know his character very well and was a pleasure to have him here in pre-season.

"This is the way it is. We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan.

"I can totally understand Patrick Vieira and the disappointment of Conor but these are the rules when we did the loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules."

Conor Gallagher stats for Crystal Palace





Premier League




FA Cup




Carabao Cup








*Stats correct at time of writing on April 15, 2022

Gallagher has been practically ever-present for Crystal Palace in 2021-22, featuring in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Prior to the semi-final against Chelsea, he had scored eight goals and provided two assists in the Premier League across 27 appearances in the competition.

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His work rate has been a particular asset for the Eagles and he notably broke a club record for distance covered in a single game when Palace drew 0-0 against Manchester City in March 2022.

When is the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea & Crystal Palace?

Chelsea and Crystal Palace play in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday April 17. The game will kick off at 4:30pm BST (11:30am ET).

It will be held at Wembley and broadcast live on ITV and the ITV Hub in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the game will be available to stream live online using ESPN+.