Madrid, Feb 10 (efe-epa).- The first leg of the Uefa Champions League last-16 clash between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea will be held at Bucharest’s Arena Nationala instead of the Wanda Metropolitano, UEFA announced on Wednesday.
The change of venue for the game, scheduled for 23 February, came after the Spanish government on Tuesday decided to extend a ban on flights arriving from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil until at least 2 March because of the new coronavirus strains detected in those countries.
“UEFA would like to express its gratitude to Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Romanian Football Federation for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Atletico de Madrid has been looking for alternatives during the last few days” after being notified by the government that the Blues would not be granted entry permits, the Spanish club said in a statement last night.
Atletico is the third team that will be forced to play its home Champions League last-16 abroad due to coronavirus restrictions. German teams RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach will play English clubs Liverpool and Manchester City respectively at Budapest’s Puskás Aréna. EFE-EPA