14/12/2021; 7:36 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
The new draw saw Real Madrid vs PSG as the highlight for the round.
Following the recent shenanigans, especially the unjustifiable award of the Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi, football has come under another attack.
The draws for the UEFA Champions League, the Europa League and the UEFA Conference League were concluded on Monday but dogged with controversy.
The draws raise question marks over the integrity of the governing body. It lays credence to the conspiracy theorists, who have always opined that the body fixes its matches.
Despite the controversy that dogged the first attempt at making the UEFA Champions League draw, the fixtures were eventually set.
The draws for the Champions League Round-of-16 fixtures took place on Monday afternoon. With Andrei Arshavin to assist, itd smoothly with Benfica first out of the pot and drawing a complicated opponent in Real Madrid. Things then quickly went south as confusion set in due to some irregularities.
Despite the mistake, the draws continued and produced some juicy ties. UEFA made apologies for the error, and another draw took place afterwards.
The mistake occurred when Manchester United was incorrectly used and excluded from the draw. UEFA blamed it on a computer error, but that sounds lame for a straightforward affair.
In the Round-of-16, clubs cannot compete against opponents from the same association or a team they played in the group stage.
With the Old Trafford side finishing top of Group F and Villarreal coming in second, the two teams ought not to meet in this round, but an inexplicable error saw the two paired together. Despite the correction, Manchester United was not added to the pot for the next draw, which saw Atletico ending up with a difficult tie against Bayern Munich.
Manchester United ended up with a clash against Paris Saint-Germain.
UEFA voided the draws and made a new one a few hours later. The second also threw up some juicy ties.
Following the mistake from the first draw, the second one set a date between La Liga defending champions Atletico Madrid and Manchester United. For Atletico, it is a fairer fixture, and they come up against a familiar foe in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Red Bull Salzburg was the unlucky team to draw much-feared Bayern Munich. Defending champions Chelsea have a date with Lille, while Liverpool lock horns with Inter Milan.
The away goals rule has been abolished, which will make the knockout phase a very interesting affair. It will kick off on February 15, 2022.
According to the next fixture, PSG will play against Real Madrid, whereas Manchester United will play an away game against Atletico Madrid.
There will be exciting matches in Europa League as well such as Barcelona vs Napoli and Atalanta vs Olympiacos.
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