Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur had Europa League last-32 games moved to different venues on Friday (Feb 12) after COVID-19 regulations made travelling to and from their opponents’ countries impossible to manage.
Both legs of Arsenal’s tie against Benfica have been moved to neutral venues due to travel restrictions in the United Kingdom with respect to arrivals from Portugal.
The first leg, which was due to be played at the Estadio Da Luz on Feb 18, has been moved to Rome while the second leg will be played in Athens at Olympiakos Piraeus’ ground a week later.
Arsenal’s home leg on the 25th of February was moved because Portugal is on Britain’s “red list”, which means those arriving from the country must self-isolate for 10 days, with no exemptions for elite athletes.
“Uefa can confirm that the Uefa Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal and Benfica will now take place at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Piraeus, Greece,” European soccer’s governing body said in a statement.
Spurs said their first leg away to Austrian side Wolfsberger will now take place in Budapest, Hungary next week.
“The new Puskas Arena… will host the match as COVID-19 regulations in Austria mean we can no longer play at the Worthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt,” the London club said.
Manchester United’s Europa League last-32 game at Real Sociedad has been moved from San Sebastian to Turin due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Spain that prevent the English side from entering the country.
Liverpool’s Champions League first leg away to RB Leipzig on February 16 has been moved to Budapest as a result of travel restrictions in Germany, as has Manchester City’s first leg at Borussia Moenchengladbach on February 24.