Champions League Draw To Be ‘Entirely Redone’ After Error — UEFA
UEFA blamed a “material error” due to a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider” as it announced that the draw for the first knockout round of its flagship competition would be redone at 1400 GMT.
With the draw being streamed live from UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, the problem was made evident when Manchester United’s name was drawn to face Villarreal, despite the fact the two clubs could not have played one another having been in the same group.
Manchester City were drawn to play the Spanish side, but the ball containing United’s name did not then appear to be replaced correctly and so they were not included as possible opponents for Atletico Madrid in the next tie.
While that mistake was spotted at the time, it led to confusion which saw United’s ball incorrectly left out of the following draw, which could have seen them pitched against Atletico Madrid.
United were eventually reinstated and drawn against PSG, but all eight fixtures will be redrawn due to the considerable knock-on effect of United’s exclusion from the Atletico tie.
A UEFA statement 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.
As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 15:00 CET.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 13, 2021
With the whole draw compromised, a red-faced UEFA was left with little choice but to start again from scratch.
The first legs will be played across February 15/16 and 22/23, while the second legs will be played across March 8/9 and 15/16.