RB Leipzig’s home first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 versus Liverpool will be played in Hungary.
The German side was not allowed to host Liverpool due to travel restrictions placed on English clubs due to the nation’s ongoing problems handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool will head to Puskas Arena in Budapest for the first leg on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and will still get to host Leipzig at Anfield for the second leg on March 10.
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The decision comes after RB Leipzig appealed for a special exemption to allow Liverpool to enter the country after new travel restrictions were put in place by the German government earlier this month.
The guidelines prohibit incoming visitors originating from countries like the United Kingdom, where high numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 mutations have been confirmed.
The current set of restrictions are set to run through Feb. 17.
How big of an advantage is this for Liverpool? Empty stadiums aside, Leipzig now has to leave home for a flight to Hungary and won’t be home before their match.
Yes, Budapest is about half the distance from Leipzig as Liverpool, but this decision from the German government, understandable as it is, actually hurts the hosts. Sports is not their problem, but in a fair world Liverpool would have to leave Anfield for the return leg and head to, say, the Republic of Ireland.
But could you imagine the Jurgen Klopp press conference if that happened to the Reds?!?
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