Chelsea announce Bucharest switch for Atletico Madrid first-leg clash
The Blues were due to travel to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid later this month to deal with Diego Simeone’s LaLiga leaders on February 23.
However, a ban on UK flights into Spain amid issues over the current coronavirus strains has actually led to a switch of location, with Chelsea now set to head to the Romanian capital instead, where they will satisfy Atletico at the Arena Nationala.
The 2nd leg is still scheduled to happen at Stamford Bridge on March 17.
“UEFA wishes to express its thankfulness to Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC for their support and close cooperation, along with the Romanian Football Federation for their support and consenting to stage the match,” European football’s governing body Uefa stated in a statement on Wednesday.
The modification in area comes after Manchester City and Liverpool saw their respective away legs versus German sides Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig transferred to Budapest in Hungary, while Manchester United’s Europa League last-32 first-leg contest against Real Sociedad has been switched from Spain to Turin, Italy.
The first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League tie versus Benfica will happen in Rome, on the other hand, though strategies to stage the return fixture in Athens will have to be altered after the Greek capital ended up being subject to lockdown limitations till a minimum of February 28.