Controversial Champions League Draw

It seemed to be a weekend of controversy surrounding the sports world. The events in Formula One may have been overshadowed by the Round of 16 draw in the UEFA Champions League. Conspiracy theorists would assume there was match fixing when Lionel Messi’s PSG squad was drawn to play against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United in the round of sixteen. An eagle-eye journalist noticed that Manchester United’s ball was not in the pot when the opponents for Atletico Madrid were drawn. According to UEFA, the error was due to a ‘technical problem with the software’. 

The origin of this issue began when Manchester United’s ball was placed in the pot to draw Villarreal’s opponent. This was a mistake based on the tournament rules since both teams played each other in group play and could not be paired up against each other in the Round of 16. In Atletico Madrid’s draw, not only was United not added to the pot but Liverpool was added, both Atletico and Liverpool had also played each other in group play. After the confusion, all sixteen teams sought clarification from UEFA. The European governing body declared a redraw to rectify their mistakes. 

Now, the redraw has determined the Round of 16 as follows:

  1. Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich
  2. Sporting CP vs. Manchester City
  3. Benfica vs. Ajax
  4. Chelsea vs. LOSC Lille
  5. Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester United
  6. Villarreal vs. Juventus
  7. Inter Milan vs. Liverpool
  8. PSG vs. Real Madrid 

The first leg of the matchups occurs in February (15, 16, 22 & 23) and the second leg takes place in March (8, 9, 15 & 16). 

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