The first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea on Tuesday 23 February has officially been moved to the Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania.
The game was originally supposed to be Atletico’s home leg at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, but ongoing travel restrictions relating to the UK and the coronavirus pandemic have seen it and several other games in both the Champions League and Europa League re-located.
Spain has banned all air and sea travel from the UK since December, extending the rules until early March, with exemptions for Spanish nationals and legal residents.
Chelsea would therefore be denied entry into Spain to play the game, although Atletico can still travel to Stamford Bridge for the unchanged second leg and then freely return to Madrid.
Manchester United will play their Europa League away leg against Real Sociedad in Turin in northern Italy for the same reasons, rather than in San Sebastian as originally intended.
Restrictions on air and sea travel into Germany also means that Liverpool and Manchester City have seen their away legs moved against RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively.
Liverpool will play Leipzig in Budapest, while City’s clash with Gladbach has also been switched to the Hungarian capital. Both games will be played at the Puskas Arena.
Chelsea reached the knockout stages of the Champions League by topping Group E ahead of Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes. The Blues were unbeaten in six games under former head coach Frank Lampard and finished with the fourth best points tally of all the group winners.
Atletico finished second in their group behind Bayern Munich, winning only two of their six matches. But Diego Simeone’s team have been the team to beat in La Liga this season and have opened up a significant lead over Real Madrid and Barcelona in the title race.