UEFA has confirmed the Champions League last-16 draw will have to be re-done after a technical error with the initial procedure.
Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were set to face each other in the knockout stage, but that headline fixture and the other ties will have to be redrawn after what UEFA labelled as a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other.”
United were initially drawn to face Villarreal, but the sides were unable to play each other as they had previously featured in the same group.
After complaints from affected clubs, including Atletico Madrid, UEFA later announced the draw would take place again at 1500 CET (1400 GMT).
Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 13, 2021
UEFA’s deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, spotted the mistake involving United’s ball and ordered the tie to be drawn again. Manchester City were instead picked to go against Villarreal.
Yet United, due to the technical error, were subsequently blocked from being selected as one of the teams eligible to play the next team, which was LaLiga champions Atleti.
Bayern Munich were ultimately picked to face Atleti, while United were drawn in the glamour tie of the round against PSG – a game that would have seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi meet in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2010-11 semi-finals.
The re-draw could well benefit United, given the challenge of facing PSG. However, holders Chelsea and Liverpool were handed favourable draws against Lille and Salzburg respectively.
Inter had been due to face Ajax, while Sporting CP were up against Juventus. Real Madrid had been drawn against Benfica.