The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League is to be “entirely redone” after an embarrassing technical error, European football’s governing body UEFA said on Monday.
UEFA blamed a “material error” due to a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider” as it announced that the draw for the first knockout round of its flagship competition would be redone at 1400 GMT.
“Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the Uefa Champions League round of 16.
“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 14:00 GMT.”
A second administrative error saw Manchester United excluded from the pot of possible opponents for Atletico Madrid and Liverpool included instead, although Manchester United could have played the Spanish side and Liverpool could not, having progressed into the knockout stage from the same group.
Atletico were drawn to face Bayern Munich but following the draw, the La Liga champions said they were in talks with Uefa “to ask for explanations and a solution after the mistakes made”.
European football expert Guillem Balague suggested 13-time champions Real Madrid, drawn against Portuguese club Benfica, “are not pleased at all by what has happened”.
Manchester United were initially drawn to face Villarreal but this was not permitted under tournament rules as they had been in the same group.
Instead the La Liga side were paired with Manchester City, Manchester United drew Paris St-Germain.