Real Sociedad-Man United moved to Turin, Atletico-Chelsea also set for switch
October 24, 2019 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford after the match [REUTERS]

Manchester United’s Europa League last-32 first leg game away to Real Sociedad has been moved from San Sebastian to Turin as a result of Spain’s travel restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19 variants, UEFA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The match will kick off at the Juventus Stadium at the scheduled time: 6.55 p.m. (1755 GMT) on Feb. 18.

The game was moved due to Spain’s ban on arrivals from Britain, with the exception of passengers who are residents or citizens of Spain or Andorra.

The ban was extended on Tuesday until March 2, jeopardising Atletico Madrid’s Champions League last-16 first leg at home to Chelsea, which was due to take place at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Feb. 23 but can no longer be held in Spain.

Atletico Madrid did not wish to comment on how the ban affected the match, while Spanish newspaper Marca said the game could be moved to Bucharest, more than 3,000 kilometres from Madrid.

The fixture cannot take place in France, Germany, Belgium or Portugal as those countries are also restricting travel to and from Britain.

Both legs of Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 tie against Benfica have also been moved to neutral venues.

UEFA said that the first leg, which was due to be played at the Estadio Da Luz on Feb. 18, has been moved to Rome, with Arsenal confirming that the second leg would be played at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens on Feb. 25.

Liverpool’s first leg away to RB Leipzig on Feb. 16 has been moved to Budapest as a result of restrictions in Germany, as has Manchester City’s first leg away to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Feb. 24.

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