Liverpool, Chelsea Set To Play UCL Ties At Neutral Venues
Liverpool and defending champions Chelsea may be forced to play the away legs of their upcoming Champions League ties at neutral venues due to uncertainty surrounding coronavirus vaccination rules, The Mirror reports.
The Reds are set to face Inter Milan while the Blues take on Lille over two legs in the last 16 of the competition.
But UEFA have been presented with a headache as the Italian and French governments will soon require all professional and amateur sportspeople to have a coronavirus passport to enter venues.
This could prove a problem for Premier League clubs due to the low vaccination rate of their players compared to their counterparts across the English channel.
European football’s governing body is reluctant to introduce mandatory vaccinations because the availability and take-up of the jab varies drastically across the continent.
That is according to the Daily Mail, which reports Chelsea and Liverpool’s unvaccinated players would be treated as though they had tested positive for Covid and prevented from playing in the away legs under the upcoming French and Italian regulations, which will be introduced in January.
UEFA rules dictate 13 players including a goalkeeper must be available to fulfil a fixture, but these new restrictions could leave squads depleted.
Therefore, they are willing to explore the possibility of playing these games at neutral stadiums in alternative countries where coronavirus passports are not required to obtain entry.