Two European soccer giants, Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, will meet within the Champions League on Tuesday. The positioning of this a lot anticipated sport? Bucharest, Romania.
On Wednesday, Manchester Metropolis will play the German group Borussia Mönchengladbach. That sport can be in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, the place the English champion Liverpool beat Germany’s RB Leipzig final week.
Within the Europa League, the continent’s second-tier membership championship, impartial websites at the moment are virtually as widespread as house video games. Final week, Spanish and English groups performed in Italy, and groups from Norway and Germany met in Spain. On Thursday, every week after the London membership Arsenal performed to a draw towards Portugal’s Benfica in Rome, the groups are set to fulfill once more within the second leg of their not-home-and-home tie close to Athens.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc with international sports schedules for a 12 months, and that chaos continues to have an effect on soccer’s largest membership tournaments. The explanations — authorities edicts, journey restrictions and quarantine guidelines — range round Europe. In some nations, groups are nonetheless allowed to journey to and from their opponents’ stadiums with out concern. In others, nations have blocked guests from complete nations, or drawn up onerous guidelines that make such journey impractical in a soccer season when groups typically play two or three video games every week.
UEFA, the European soccer governing physique that runs the competitions, has determined that if restrictions adversely have an effect on any sport, it will likely be performed at a impartial website the place journey is permitted. However the choice to play knockout video games in locations seemingly chosen at random has led to confusion, and never somewhat grumbling.