Football News

OFFICIAL: UEFA release statement after UCL draw controversy

By Ben Green

Published: 11:21, 13 December 2021

UEFA have confirmed the Champions League last-16 draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone after a “technical problem” occurred in the original showcase.

Manchester United were controversially selected to face Villarreal as the draw’s ambassador Andrey Arshavin unveiled the names, but under UEFA’s rules, no team can be drawn against a club from their group or their own association.

As Man Utd and Villarreal faced off in Group F of the Champions League, by definition they could be drawn against each other in the last-16. UEFA deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti quickly defused the situation by highlighting the error and Arshavin drew a new team.

This time, Villarreal were drawn against Manchester City, and Man Utd came out last to face Paris Saint-Germain, but in the wake of the incident, and following several protests from clubs, UEFA have now confirmed the draw will be redone.

A statement read: “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.

“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET.

Original fixture list in full:

2021/22 Champions League last-16 original draw

Benfica vs Real Madrid
Villarreal vs Manchester City
Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
Red Bull Salzburg vs Liverpool
Inter Milan vs Ajax
Sporting CP vs Juventus
Chelsea vs Lille
PSG vs Manchester United

When will the Champions League last-16 take place?

The last 16 is scheduled for dates in February and March, with first legs and second legs taking place across two weeks.

The first legs are set for 15/16 and 22/23 February 2022, with the return legs planned for 8/9 and 15/16 March 2022.

The 2021/22 Champions League final will take place Saturday, May 28, 2022 at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia (the home of Zenit Saint Petersburg).

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