The Champions League match between Bundesliga club RB Leipzig and Premier League champions Liverpool on Feb. 16 will not be played at Leipzig’s stadium, the German Ministry of the Interior confirmed on Wednesday.
Last Saturday, flights from the U.K. and other high-risk countries were banned by the German government to stop the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus.
While RB Leipzig pushed for an exception, the German Ministry of the Interior confirmed to German news agency, dpa, on Wednesday that there will be “no special rules for professional sports.”
The government agency added they had informed RB Leipzig on Wednesday that their case did not fall under the handful exceptions outlined in the government order.
Leipzig now have until Feb. 8 to propose an alternative venue to UEFA which could be in a neutral country.
The Bundesliga club also would be able to travel to Anfield and back for the first leg as German passport holder and residents are allowed to travel to Germany where they’d be tested straight away.
Under the COVID-19-related regulations for the Champions League released by the European football’s governing body earlier this week, the home side are responsible for the organisation of a neutral venue.
Leipzig could also try to convince Liverpool to swap the games, but, according to German outlet Bild, the Premier League side are not willing to do so.
The two legs of the Champions League round of 16 must be completed by April 2 and if Leipzig fail to propose a suitable venue UEFA could decide to rule the match 3-0 in Liverpool’s favour.