By Chris King • 14 December 2021 • 3:45
Image of Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov.
Credit: Wikipedia - By Mil.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91694870
A complete fiasco surrounded the draw for the Champions League Round of 16 which was held in UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The draw had been finalised before officials realised that an error had been made, and the draw had to be made a second time.
Manchester United were originally drawn out of the pot to play Spain’s Villarreal, but this could not be allowed as they had played each other in the same qualifying group previously. UEFA blamed this hiccup on the technology, claiming such a mistake should never have occurred.
Subsequently, Villarreal were drawn out to play English champions, Manchester City. But, more confusion arose when somehow, Liverpool ended up in the same pot as Atletico Madrid, who they also had played in the group stages.
“Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the Uefa Champions League round of 16”, said a statement from UEFA. Adding, “As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone”.
With 16 teams battling for a place in the final in St Petersburg, Russia, on May 28, the revised draw looks like this:
Red Bull Salzburg v Bayern Munich
Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City
Benfica v Ajax
Chelsea v Lille
Atletico Madrid v Manchester United
Villarreal v Juventus
Inter Milan v Liverpool
PSG v Real Madrid
The first legs of this knockout stage will be spread out across 15, 16, 22, and 23 February, with the second legs being played on 8, 9, 15, and 16 March.
This season’s Champions League sees some changes to the way matches are decided. There will no longer be an away goals rule. Matches that are all square after 180 minutes of open play, will go to extra time.
If, after this 30 minute period the teams are still level, then there will be a penalty shootout.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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