Sky Sports have just announced that Liverpool will not be allowed to travel to Germany to face RB Leipzig in their Champions League knockout tie on February 16.
This comes as a result of a ban from the German government regarding entry of people from countries affected by Covid-19 mutations, including the United Kingdom.
Germany have so far deemed that there will not be any exemptions for Liverpool, like the elite sports ones we’ve seen across the world so far.
UEFA have informed Sky Sports News that they are now in discussions with the German FA and the nation’s government regarding a solution.
UEFA tinkered with their rules due to the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing for ties to be switched around, but this would see Liverpool relinquish their home advantage in the decisive second-leg.
? BREAKING ?
Liverpool’s Champions League match against RB Leipzig on February 16th will not be allowed to take place in Germany pic.twitter.com/yw1yarRR57
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 4, 2021
The first-leg is pencilled in for February 16 and the second-leg is due to take place on March 10 as things currently stand.
Switching the fixtures around could salvage the encounter, but there’s no telling how the Covid-19 mutations develop in the UK further, meaning Germany’s stance on travel could be the same come March, so perhaps a different solution is necessary.
Sky Sports News’ brilliant presenter adds that the ties could be played at a neutral venue, whilst the two-legged encounter could even be reduced to a single game like the summer’s restart saw.
It’s worth noting that even the match taking place on neutral ground would likely require authorisation from the German government, as this would still involve Leipzig mixing with a team of players and staff hailing from a nation being damaged by Covid-19 mutations.
Liverpool probably won’t want to relinquish being at Anfield for the second-leg, whilst if any leg takes place on neutral ground it would only be fair that both do, potentially losing the Reds the chance of playing at home completely.