Real Madrid was first exiled from the Santiago Bernabéu due to the absence of public and to accelerate the remodeling works, and in the quarterfinals of the Champions League against Liverpool, Valdebebas may also have to go. The celebration at Di Stéfano on Tuesday, April 6, of the first leg against the reds it is now in the air. In fact, with current regulations, if the match were held this weekend, the white club would have to go to another stadium in another country.
10 days ago, the central government extended until March 30 the restrictions on entry into Spain by air and sea of citizens from the United Kingdom due to the incidence of the British strain of the coronavirus. A measure that is also applicable to those who want to arrive on flights from Brazil and South Africa. In the next few days, the Executive of Pedro Sánchez will decide whether to extend these measures, as it has been doing since the end of December, lift them or soften them.
In the event that it continues to apply them, Real Madrid must play the first leg in another country free of these limitations and in a stadium approved by UEFA to host a Champions League match.
This is what happened to Atlético and Real Sociedad. The rojiblancos traveled to Bucharest to play the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Chelsea and the Donostiarras did it to Turin against Manchester United in the Europa League round of 32.
Faced with this damage, the two entities tried to have the return matches be held in a neutral venue to cushion the damage of leaving as local many kilometers away. However, UEFA was adamant and reminded them that the rules agreed at the beginning of the season to deal with this situation arising from the covid made it clear that they remained the host teams despite the matches taking place in other countries.
Although there are still a few days to know the government’s decision, the logical thing is that Real Madrid is already working on alternatives in coordination with UEFA. The chosen stadium should meet a minimum of conditions and infrastructure. Non-negotiable, you have to be VAR ready. In addition, the hypothetical transfer could not cause any damage or alteration to the equipment that makes regular use of these facilities. And finally, the host country does not have to block the entry of citizens from the two affected countries.
For what there will be no problems, except for an unforeseen turn, it is in the return. Madrid will do it at Anfield on Wednesday April 14. Spain is not on the UK entry blacklist. Atlético and Real Sociedad also played their return games at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford.
They have not been the only ones affected by these restrictions. The English double duel of the Champions League round of 16, Liverpool-Leipzig and Manchester City-Borussia Mönchengladbach, took place entirely outside England and Germany. The four matches of both crosses were taken to the Puskas Arena in Budapest. In the Europa League, the Molde-Hoffenheim round-of-32 match was held in Vila-real due to limitations in Norway.
This disorder occurs when UEFA has not yet decided whether next summer’s Eurocup, scheduled for 12 venues (Bilbao is one of them), maintains its format and geographical diversity.