Atletico Madrid will play Chelsea in the first leg of it’s Champions League last 16 tie on February 23 in Bucharest due to COVID-19 restrictions in Spain.

The Blues were set to take on Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish capital on February 23 in the first of two legs in their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

In a statement released on Wednesday, European football’s governing body wrote: “UEFA is able to officially confirm that the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC will now be played at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.

“The date of the match (23 February 2021) and the kick-off time (21:00 CET) will remain the same.

“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.”

The Spanish government on Tuesday extended a ban on arrivals by air from Britain, Brazil and South Africa until March 2 over new variants.

Only legal residents or nationals of Spain and the neighbouring micro-state of Andorra are currently allowed in on flights from those countries.

In changes previously announced, Manchester City’s first leg of their Champions League tie against Borussia Moenchengladbach will be played in Budapest while Liverpool’s match against RB Leipzig has also been relocated to the Hungarian capital.

The Champions League, Europe’s top club competition, was heavily disrupted by the pandemic last season.

In the UK, exceptions have been made for the travel of elite sportspeople due to the testing that exists within the sports, but Spain has made no such allowance.

Champions League: Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid game to be played in Bucharest


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