Liverpool barred from playing Champions League game in Germany
In a huge development, Germany won't allow Liverpool to play their scheduled Champions League game at Leipzig on February 16. The decision comes as a result of border restrictions imposed over new variants of the coronavirus. Notably, the German Interior Ministry confirmed that an application regarding special permission for Liverpool to enter the country was refused by federal police. Here is more.
The game could be moved to a neutral venue
As per the restrictions, the first leg of the round of 16, can't be played as scheduled on February 16 in Leipzig. It is understood that the German club could ask UEFA to move the game to a neutral venue.
The order of legs could be switched
By switching the order of the legs, Liverpool could play at home first. However, it will then require Leipzig's players and staff to go into quarantine on their return to Germany from Britain. Notably, UEFA is open to delaying games affected by travel bans. On Tuesday, it set April 2 as the latest possible date to finish last-16 games in time for the quarter-finals.
Other matches that could be affected
If the travel restrictions, which don't contain any exemptions for sports, are extended beyond February 17, then it could affect a couple of other games. Manchester City's first-leg trip to play Borussia Monchengladbach on February 24 could be postponed. In the Europa League, Arsenal's home (February 19) and away games (February 25) against Benfica might also be affected.
A look at the Champions League round of 16 draw
Last 16 draw: Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City, Lazio vs Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea, RB Leipzig vs Liverpool, Porto vs Juventus, Barcelona vs PSG, Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund, Atalanta vs Real Madrid. The first legs will be played on February 16, 17, 23 and 24, while the second legs will take place on March 9, 10, 16 and 17.