After being forced to play the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie against RB Leipzig at Budapest’s Puskas Arena, Liverpool appear set to return there for the second leg—and their nominal home game—on March 10th.
That’s the word today from The Times’ Paul Joyce, who says that after exploring other options, a return to Hungary for the two sides for round two is likely. This comes after the use of Liverpool’s preferred option, Roterdam’s Feyenoord Stadium, was rejected by the Dutch government.
Other stadiums in Italy, Cyprus, and Romania were considered but would not have significantly altered travel time, and so a return to the first leg venue—which also hosted the recent Manchester City vs. Borussia Monchengladbach match—is expected.
German travel restrictions that would not have allowed Liverpool into the country forced the move of the first leg. For the second leg, that Leipzig would have been forced to quarantine for ten days on their return from England is forcing the change.
Regardless the final decision, that both legs of the tie will need to be played at a neutral venue in a third-party country rather serves to highlight the financially motivated absurdity of attempting to continue a competition like the Champions League in the midst of a once in a century global pandemic.