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UEFA has announced that the Champions League clash between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea has been moved to the Romanian capital of Bucharest after Spanish authorities banned travel from the United Kingdom due to the new COVID-19 variant.
The Spanish Ministry of Health put in place restrictive measures on travel ever since the country issued a state of emergency on October 25, 2020.
The match was due to be played at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid but UEFA regulations dictated that an alternative venue must be found by the Spanish club.
In a statement released on Wednesday, February 10, European football’s governing body wrote: “UEFA is able to officially confirm that the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC will now be played at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.
“The date of the match (23 February 2021) and the kick-off time (21:00 CET) will remain the same.
“UEFA would like to express its gratitude to Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Romanian Football Federation for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s match at Stamford Bridge would not be changed as the UK has not banned visitors from Spain.