Liverpool not allowed to play Champions League tie against RB Leipzig in Germany

Ian Parker, PA

Liverpool will not be allowed to play their Champions League round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig in Germany after being denied entry to the country.

The German government has banned all arrivals from countries affected by new coronavirus variants until February 17, the day after Liverpool were due in Leipzig, and an application for special permission for them to travel has been denied.

A statement from the German interior ministry, reported in local media, said: “The federal police has told the RB Leipzig club today that the circumstances of the given case do not meet the requirements for an exemption.”

UEFA has remained in touch with both clubs and the German Football Association, which has in turn been in contact with the German government.

Under such circumstances, Champions League regulations allow for a match to be moved to a neutral venue or for fixtures to be reversed.

However, the latter is not considered an option as Leipzig players would need to quarantine for 10 days upon their return from Liverpool under the current rules.

As it stands, the second leg is scheduled to take place at Anfield on March 10, by which point it is hoped restrictions will have been eased.

UEFA’s regulations put the onus on Leipzig to put forward proposals for an alternative venue and pay the associated costs of rearranging the game.

The club has until February 8 to come up with a solution or they could run the risk of a 3-0 forfeit.

A delay is also a possibility, with UEFA having said that all last-16 games must have been decided by April 2.

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