Leipzig hosts Liverpool in Hungary due to Covid-19 curbs

Liverpool’s Champions League final 16 away game against RB Leipzig is being held in Budapest, as coronavirus restrictions prevent the English champions traveling to Germany, UEFA announced on Sunday.

The first stage on 16 February “will now take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest”, confirmed the governing body of European football.

UEFA’s statement thanked the two clubs “for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue, as well as the Hungarian Football Association for their support and agreeing to host the match in question.”

The confirmation of Budapest as host ended doubts that the tie took place after the introduction of strict entry rules in Germany to combat the spread of the pandemic.

UEFA’s rules stipulated that the home team must find a way to host the match or risk losing it as a 3-0 defeat.

Liverpool’s German boss Jurgen Klopp had said he thought an exception should have been made for his side to travel.

The decision by the German authorities on a travel ban also puts a question mark over another Champions League match 16, when Borussia Moenchengladbach will host Manchester City on 24 February.