- Manchester United to Face Real Sociedad in Europa League last-32 first leg
- The match has been moved to Turin owing to travel restriction in Spain due to COVID-19
- The match will be played on the 18th of February at 11:25 PM (IST)
Manchester United’s clash with Real Sociedad had to be moved to a different location owing to the ongoing travel restrictions in Spain.
Red Devil’s Europa League last-32 first leg match against Real Sociedad which is to take place on the 18th of February has been moved to Juventus’ Allianz Stadium due to coronavirus restrictions in Spain.
The first leg of the last-32 tie was originally scheduled to be played at Sociedad’s Anoeta Stadium, but COVID-19 travel restrictions in Spain made sure this was impossible.
The change in venue has now also been confirmed and also confirmed that the schedule of the match will not be changed.
As per the current travel restrictions placed in Spain due to COVID-19 the teams from the United Kingdom are currently not permitted to enter the country. The Spanish government has not granted elite sportspeople exemption to enter the country by allowing teams such as Manchester United to travel to the country for the game without the need to quarantine.
Both, the Spanish Football Association as well as Real Sociedad, has been seeking an exemption from the Spanish Government, however, could not do it only for the game to be move elsewhere.
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The second leg of the last 32, however, will not be affected and will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester, on the 26th of February at 1:30 AM (IST). The UK government policy means elite athletes and sports teams are exempt from the quarantine rules which have been imposed on travellers arriving from abroad.
The Sociedad team will not have to go under isolation when they arrive at Old Trafford for the 2nd leg on Friday in the same way as the Red Devils squad will not have to quarantine when they return home from the first leg
To answer the question of whose responsibility it was to find the new venue, it is answered in the UEFA rules which clearly states that it is down to the home side to ensure the game can be played at their venue. If this isn’t possible then it is down to them to find a suitable alternative.
So in this scenario, it was down to Real Sociedad to find another stadium where the match could be hosted as So in this circumstance it was down to Sociedad to find another stadium as they could not host the game owing to Spanish Government’s rules.
Manchester United, in a statement, said, “UEFA have thanked Real Sociedad and Manchester United for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Italian Football Federation and Juventus for their support and agreeing to host the match in question.”