Manchester City’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid will be played behind closed doors at the Etihad Stadium, UEFA has confirmed.
The UEFA Executive Committee has decided all remaining second-leg matches in that competition and the Europa League will be played at the home team’s stadium.
That applies where clubs are “currently playing the remaining matches of their domestic leagues in their own stadiums and that travelling is possible without restrictions for the visiting clubs”.
Pep Guardiola’s City will be breathing a large sigh of relief. UEFA’s decision means they can step out on home turf having overcome Real Madrid 2-1 in February’s first leg at the Bernabeu.
Wolves will also be able to play the return leg of their Europa League round-of-16 encounter with Olympiacos at Molineux. The first fixture ended 1-1.
Manchester United can wrap up progress at Old Trafford after romping to a 5-0 triumph against LASK in Austria.
The decision also means some British clubs will be hitting the road in August.
Chelsea head to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich trailing 3-0 in their Champions League round-of-16 tie.
Rangers also head to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League. Steven Gerrard’s men lost 3-1 at Ibrox.
Inter Milan v Getafe and Sevilla v Roma both had their Europa League last-16 first legs postponed. Those ties will be completed as a single leg in Germany. That’s where the final eight competition will be hosted next month.
Champions League final eight plan confirmed
The Champions League final eight will be held then in Portugal. UEFA deciding no fans will be at any European matches for the remainder of the season.
A UEFA statement read: “On 17 June 2020, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to postpone the decision on whether the upcoming UEFA matches would be able to accommodate supporters or would have to be held behind closed doors, in order to monitor the evolution of the situation and the measures taken by local authorities on mass gatherings and attendance at sports events.
“Several elements were taken into account by UEFA when making a decision; the protection of the health of all those involved in the matches as well as the public at large; a responsibility to provide the safest environment for matches in order to guarantee the progress of competitions; as well as ensuring sporting fairness within a very inconsistent landscape (with some countries allowing and some forbidding stadium attendances).
“Consequently, in light of the current situation, the UEFA Executive Committee felt it prudent to conclude that UEFA matches should take place behind closed doors until further notice.
“This decision was made in agreement with the national associations and authorities of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, 2019/20 UEFA Europa League and 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final eight tournaments’ hosts Portugal, Germany and Spain.
“This restriction will also apply to the remaining matches in the 2019/20 UEFA Youth League.”