Earlier today, December 13, European football governing body, UEFA, committed a blunder by paring Manchester United with Villarreal during the Champions League round of 16 draw which took place in Nyon, Switzerland.
UEFA had to correct the blunder immediately by paring Manchester United with French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain.
Manchester United vs Villarreal was an erroneous fixture for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 because the two teams were in the same Group F during the group stage of the competition.
UEFA guidelines stipulate that teams that were in the same group during the group stage and teams that are from the same league are not allowed to face each other in the round of 16.
Also, all the teams that finished first in their groups are supposed to be seeded and placed in one box while teams that finished second in their groups are placed in another box. This ought to prevent teams that finish top of their groups from playing against each other.
Since Manchester United were mistakenly paired with Villarreal from the same group before the error was corrected and United were paired with PSG, UEFA deemed it fit to cancel the process.
Hence the UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw was redone today, December 13, 2021, at 14:00 GMT.
“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”, UEFA statement read.
“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone.”
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.— UEFA (@UEFA) December 13, 2021
Manchester United vs UEFA conspiracy theory
It calls for a lot of questions that UEFA that have been conducting Champions League draws for decades had to make the blunder of paring Manchester United with Villarreal, a team that was in United’s group during the group stage.
Since United are not legally allowed to play against Villarreal, it is laughable that UEFA had to cancel the whole process after the body had corrected its mistake by pairing Manchester United with PSG.
The fact that UEFA canceled the entire process after Manchester United was paired with PSG calls for an investigation. This is necessary to make it clear that Manchester United officials did not lobby UEFA officials in the background after the draw.
Recall that after PSG reloaded their team by signing Lionel Messi ahead of the 2021-2022 season, the French club became one of the deadliest teams in the world especially when Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and the Argentine forward are on the pitch.
Hence, Manchester United escaped PSG after UEFA decided to redo the draw which means that the world might not see a repeat of the round of 16 of the 2018-2019 season in which Manchester United knocked out PSG on away goals rule.
In place of PSG, United got Spanish La Liga side, Atletico Madrid as opponents for the round of 16 bout. While PSG got Real Madrid as their round of 16 opponents.
Below is the outcome of the Redone Champions League last-16 draw
Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
Benfica vs Ajax
Chelsea vs Lille
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
Villarreal vs Juventus
Inter Milan vs Liverpool
Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid