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UEFA to redo UCL draw for round of 16, voiding initial pairings after mistake

UEFA blamed the mishap on “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.”

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: December 13, 2021 6:53:27 pm
The ball containing United’s name appeared to then be excluded from selection by mistake when Atletico Madrid’s opponents were decided. (File)

The Champions League Round Of 16 draw has been declared null and void by UEFA after controversy erupted when Manchester United appeared to be mistakenly excluded for a brief period.

In a statement, UEFA said, “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”

“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET,” it added.

In IST, the draw will take place at 7.30 PM.

FOLLOW LIVE: UCL Round Of 16 Draw updates

In a rare mistake by UEFA, Manchester United was drawn against Villarreal, with whom they had already faced in the group stage which made the tie invalid and a fresh opponent had to be picked again for Villarreal, which happened to be Manchester City.

This is where controversy reared its head as the ball containing United’s name appeared to then be excluded from selection by mistake when Atletico Madrid’s opponents were decided.

United were then put back into play and were eventually drawn against Paris Saint-Germain which gives old rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi a chance to renew hostilities again. This will also be the first time these two icons will meet in the Champions League knockout stages since the 2010/11 semi-final.

UEFA deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti apologised for the “technical issue our draw is experiencing”, having: “kindly asked for the name of City to be put next to Villarreal.”

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