Paris (AFP) – Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 away tie against RB Leipzig will be staged in Budapest as coronavirus restrictions bar the English champions travelling to Germany, UEFA announced on Sunday.
The February 16 first leg “will now take place at Puskas Arena in Budapest,” European football’s governing body confirmed.
UEFA’s statement thanked the two clubs “for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their support and agreeing to host the match in question.”
Confirmation of Budapest as hosts ended any doubt about the tie taking place after the imposition of strict entry rules in Germany to combat the spread of the pandemic.
UEFA’s regulations stipulated that the home side must find a way of hosting the match or risk forfeiting it as a 3-0 defeat.
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp had said he believed an exemption should have been made for his side to travel.
The decision from the German authorities on travel bans also places a question mark over another Champions League last-16 match, as Borussia Moenchengladbach host Manchester City on February 24.
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