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Arsenal Europa League clash with Benfica moved due to coronavirus restrictions with games in Rome and Athens

10-Feb-2021, 01:47 am

Martin Odegaard Arsenal Aston Villa Premier League 2020-21

Arsenal's Europa League game with Benfica on February 18 has been moved to Romedue to coronavirus restrictions, with the second leg switched from Emirates Stadium to Athens.

The second leg, due to be played onFebruary 25, will instead be played atOlympiacos' home ground, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in the Greek capital.

Current travel restrictions in place due to Covid-19 in the UK mean that residents from the country face strict quarantine measures when travelling to Portugal.

The Iberian nation is on the UK government's "Red List"of destinations, with a blanket travel ban in place.

Arsenal's squad and staff would be required to self-isolate for 15 days upon returning from Lisbon, a requirement which is obviously incompatible with the club's other fixture commitments.

Arsenal said in a statement on their website: "The matches are being held at neutral venues due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

"The first leg, which is Benfica’s 'home' fixture, will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on February 18, at8pm UK time.

"Our 'home'fixture will be played at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens, Olympiacos' stadium, on February 25. Kick-off hasyet to be confirmed.

"UEFA has stated that in the event of a draw over two legs, away goalswillcount double."

UEFA rules stipulate 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.


Source : goal.com

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