RB Leipzig might forfeit Champions League round-of-16 first-leg tie to Liverpool

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German Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig might have to forfeit Champions League round-of-16 first-leg tie to Liverpool if they fail to find a suitable neutral venue for the encounter.

Based on the coronavirus restriction in Germany, travelers from the United Kingdom are not allowed into the country due to the new variant of the virus in the UK. The restriction is expected to last until February 17.

Unfortunately, the RB Leipzig vs Liverpool UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first-leg tie has been scheduled to take place in Germany on February 16, at 21:00. This means that the initial arrangement of Liverpool flying into the country to honor the game will not be attainable.

A statement from the German interior ministry confirmed that Liverpool would not be able to play the UEFA Champions League game in Germany as the ministry failed to exempt the fixture from the restricted events.

A statement from the German government read: “The Corona Protection Ordinance passed by the German government last Friday provides for only a few exceptions and no special regulations for professional athletes.

“The Federal Police informed the club, RB Leipzig, today that the described case constellation does not fall under the exceptions.”

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann and Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp.
RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann and Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp.

Based on the development, RB Leipzig would have to suggest a neutral venue outside Germany for the game before few days to the date scheduled for the match. If the German Bundesliga side fails to meet up with this condition, the club might automatically forfeit the game and the three points would be awarded to Liverpool.

Besides the three points, Liverpool might be awarded three goals advantage which means that RB Leipzig would be left with no choice but to score 4 goals against Liverpool at Anfield on March 10 when the German club visit England for the return leg.

A statement from UEFA says the European football governing body is in touch with both Liverpool and RB Leipzig in line with alternative arrangements for the game.

UEFA’s statement said: “In all cases, the venue of a match must be approved by the Uefa administration, which has the right to assign an alternative venue for any particular match or even to decide that either or both legs of the relevant round to be rescheduled and/or played in a neutral country (within the territory of a Uefa member association) and/or organized as a single-leg. These decisions are final.”

There are speculations that RB Leipzig might push for the doubleheader fixture to be reversed which would allow the German Bundesliga club to play in England in the first leg while the second leg would then take place in Germany on March 10. Also, reports are suggesting that the fixture could be moved to Budapest.