'Vines did belong on the list' - Royal Antwerp make unforgivable administrative error, accidentally leaving off American defender Sam Vines from their group stage roster

Sam Vines Antwerp 22/23Getty Images
  • Vines left off UCL roster
  • Due to 'administrative error'
  • American key in helping them qualify

WHAT HAPPENED? Following a key defensive performance in the UEFA Champions League two-leg playoff against AEK Athens in August, Vines was touted to be a big player for the Belgian side ahead of their first-ever UCL campaign. Due to an 'administrative error' on Antwerp's end, the former MLS player will be watching from the stands on European nights this Fall, however.

It's heartbreaking for the 24-year-old U.S. international, especially considering he missed out on nearly the entire 2022/23 campaign due to injury - including a chance to play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the USMNT.

WHAT THEY SAID: “What do I mean by that? That we didn't do it right. Vines did belong on the list. We made a mistake and it cannot be corrected," head coach Mark Van Bommel said per HLN.

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“How does he deal with that? Well... Everyone wants to be on that list. Of course he is disappointed. But he is now focusing on his rehabilitation, that is the most important thing.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Van Bommel himself has been linked with a move away from the club, with Saudi Arabian clubs circling in for the Antwerp coach. Meanwhile, Dutch fullback Owen Wijndal was brought in over the summer to force competition alongside Vines.

Wijndal was included on the UCL roster, while Vines - who picked up a small injury before the international break - is not.


Sam Vines Antwerp Super Cup 22/23Getty ImagesMark Van Bommel 23/24 AntwerpGetty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR ANTWERP?: The Belgian side take on Westerlo Friday afternoon before making their UCL debut against Barcelona on Tuesday, September 19.