Budapest will stage the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie between RB Leipzig and Liverpool, UEFA has confirmed.
The fixture had to be moved after Germany imposed travel restrictions on entry for arrivals from areas affected by COVID-19 mutations until at least February 17 – a day after the game was due to be played in Leipzig.
Exceptions are in place for German citizens or residents but there are no special regulations for professional athletes, meaning Liverpool’s squad would not be allowed entry into the country.
Rules put in place by UEFA do allow last-16 ties to be switched or, alternatively, moved to a neutral venue.
In partnership with both clubs, the governing body has announced Leipzig and Liverpool will go up against each other at the Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital instead.
“UEFA would like to thank RB Leipzig and Liverpool for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their support and agreeing to host the match in question,” a statement from UEFA read.
The fixture will remain on the original date on February 16, with the return leg then scheduled for March 10 at Anfield.