Manchester City were due to host Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad Stadium on March 16; however, German rules over Covid mean Gladbach are unable to travel to the UK; UEFA have now moved the game to Budapest, where the first leg was played last month
The second leg of Manchester City’s Champions League round-of-16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach on March 16, which was scheduled to be played at the Etihad Stadium, has been moved to Budapest.
UEFA has announced the switch as Germany’s Covid-19 regulations mean the visitors are unable to travel to the UK as originally planned.
The tie will now take place at the Puskas Arena, the same venue where City won the opening leg 2-0 two weeks ago.
A UEFA statement read: “UEFA would like to thank Manchester City FC and Borussia VfL 1900 Monchengladbach for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match.”
Budapest has been a regular venue for round-of-16 games in the Champions League this season. As well as both legs of the City-Gladbach tie, the Hungarian capital hosted the first leg of Liverpool’s meeting with RB Leipzig, which the Premier League side won 2-0.
The second leg is also set to take place at the same venue on Wednesday night.
Chelsea were forced to play the away leg of their tie with Atletico Madrid in Bucharest, although the second leg is scheduled to be held at Stamford Bridge.
Neutral venues: what criteria is involved?
Scheduling European matches has been a challenge for UEFA, which has had to take into account national restrictions and, in some cases, schedule matches at neutral sites across the continent.
With City and Gladbach once again set to play in Budapest, why are matches being staged at neutral venues and what is the criteria involved in selecting appropriate stadiums?
If travel restrictions imposed by regional and/or national governments mean that a match cannot be played as scheduled, UEFA and the clubs consult in order to find an alternative venue where the match can take place.
The main criteria taken into account is that no travel restrictions exist between the region or country of the proposed venue and the countries of the respective clubs.
Other factors, such as the availability of stadiums, travel distances and the wishes of the clubs are also taken into account.