Arsenal Europa League away tie against Benfica could be moved due to Covid

The first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 32 tie against Benfica could be moved from Portugal due to current Covid regulations.

There is no travel corridor between Britain and Portugal and if that remains the case a new venue will have to be found.

There is provision within UEFA protocols to rearrange the fixture – set for February 18 – to a stadium outside of Portugal.

According to regulations introduced for the Europa League group stages onward, it would be up to Benfica to “propose a suitable alternative venue which may be in a neutral country.”

UEFA could step in if Benfica do not propose a new venue which is suitable for both teams and could choose where the game is played or when the fixture takes place.

The PA news agency understands that while Arsenal see the relocation of the first leg as an option they will await official government guidance at this stage.

The second leg of the tie is scheduled for the Emirates Stadium on February 25.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side crashed out of the competition at the round of 32 last season after losing to Olympiacos.