BREAKING NEWS: UEFA voids Champions League draw due to technical error

By Sports Desk December 13, 2021

UEFA has confirmed the Champions League last-16 draw will have to be re-done after a technical error with the initial procedure.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were set to face each other in the knockout stage, but that headline fixture and the other ties will have to be redrawn after what UEFA labelled as 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."

United were initially drawn to face Villarreal, but the sides were unable to play each other as they had previously featured in the same group.

After complaints from affected clubs, including Atletico Madrid, UEFA later announced the draw would take place again at 1500 CET (1400 GMT).

Related items

  • Casillas: Real Madrid have to 'put the icing on the cake' with Champions League win Casillas: Real Madrid have to 'put the icing on the cake' with Champions League win

    Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas believes the club's run to Saturday's Champions League final will mean nothing if they eventually lose to Liverpool.

    With 725 matches played, Casillas trails only Raul Gonzalez for appearances made for Los Blancos, winning the Champions League three times with the club, including the famous La Decima in 2014.

    Madrid have made a dramatic run to Saturday's fun, coming from behind on aggregate in all three knockout ties to eliminate Paris Saint-German, Chelsea and Manchester City.

    Writing for the Player's Tribune, Casillas insisted it will matter little if Liverpool lift the trophy on Saturday instead.

    "The comebacks are very good but now we have to get it. We need the icing on the cake," Casillas wrote for the Players Tribune. "If you don't get that icing, the cake won't be complete, right?

    "If the cup does not reach the showcases, nobody is going to remember what happened with PSG, with Chelsea and with Manchester City. To be exciting, it has to be until the end, with the prize.

    "One step away from glory for the 14th time, people think that winning the Champions League is easy and it is not. If just reaching a Champions League semi-final is something incredible, when you get one, two or three cups you have to be proud."

    The 41-year-old singled out Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been a pivotal figure in both their LaLiga title and run to Saturday's final, with 21 clean sheets in 50 games across all competitions.

    While insisting Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world, that Casillas' athletic and versatile style in goal was long regarded as an inspiration is something he also takes pride in.

    "A separate paragraph is for Courtois, and I think no one can argue that today he is the best goalkeeper in the world," he said. "It's the same thing I think of Karim [Benzema]. To rise even higher, you have to get that award. And he deserves it like nobody else, since he has been essential for Madrid to reach the final in Paris.

    "I am proud that, as I did with [Luis] Arconada, he has grown up inspired by my stops, by my videos. There will be another kid out there who will want to be like Courtois tomorrow. But, in short, I am flattered to have been a part of his life."

  • Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship

    Mauricio Pochettino is "100 per cent" committed to Paris Saint-Germain and does not believe his future at the club will be decided by his relationship with Kylian Mbappe.

    Both Pochettino and Mbappe have been the subject of speculation for much of this season.

    But while the superstar forward has signed a new contract in Paris, snubbing Real Madrid, it is unclear how that development impacts his coach.

    Pressure has been building on Pochettino since PSG again failed to win the Champions League, losing to Madrid in the last 16 despite Mbappe scoring in both legs.

    Given reports suggest Mbappe has been given a significant say in the running of the club as part of his new deal, it would appear crucial Pochettino keeps the World Cup winner onside.

    But in an interview with COPE, the former Tottenham boss seemed confident he would be given the opportunity to prove his worth at the Parc des Princes regardless.

    "I have said I am 100 per cent here. Today I tell you I am 100 per cent here," Pochettino said.

    "I have one more year of contract. The challenges are there and it motivates any coach.

    "I don't think [the relationship with Mbappe is decisive]. I will be judged by the work. We have won all the titles that previous coaches have won. That is earned regularly, and you have to give it value. This league is not easy."

    Asked if he wanted to keep his job, Pochettino added: "Of course, 100 per cent. It's a club that has ambition. The big disappointment is the Champions League because of the desire of the people."

  • Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final

    Sadio Mane will wait until after the Champions League final before revealing "the best answer you want to hear" on his Liverpool future.

    Mane has been a key man for Liverpool as they have challenged for silverware on four fronts this season, scoring 23 goals and assisting two across 50 games in all competitions.

    The 30-year-old winger is excelling again despite uncertainty surrounding his future at Anfield, where his contract is due to expire in 12 months' time.

    Team-mates Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are in the same position, but Mane is determined talk of a departure will not distract from Saturday's huge match against Real Madrid.

    And he teased he will "give you all you want to hear" after the Paris showpiece.

    "I think the answer I can give you now is I feel very good," Mane said. "I am fully focused on Saturday's game, that is the answer I must give before the final.

    "But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It's special. I will give you all you want to hear then.

    "I love what I am doing, and I sacrifice myself all the time. I am working hard every single day on the pitch and in the gym, and I get better and better, that's the most important. I am trying my best to help the team."

    Mane scored in the 2018 final between Liverpool and Madrid, with the Spanish giants running out 3-1 winners.

    The Santiago Bernabeu side could be among the suitors for Mane should he leave Liverpool, but his aim for now is to beat them.

    "Good question," he said when asked about the possibility of being approached by Madrid. "But what I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans.

    "I will do everything absolutely possible to win the game for Liverpool.

    "I think we all forgot about what happened in 2018. For sure, Real Madrid were the better team then and deserved to win the game, but it is going to be a different game."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.