The first leg of Liverpool's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against RB Leipzig has been thrown in doubt after German authorities effectively prohibited the Reds from entering the country.
The German government has prohibited entry on all arrivals from countries affected by coronavirus mutations, including elite athletes, until February 17, which has effectively denied Liverpool entry into the country for the match against Leipzig that is scheduled to take place the day before.
"The Corona Protection Order agreed by the federal government last Friday envisions only a few exceptions and no special arrangement for professional athletes," the German interior ministry said in a statement, per The Guardian.
"The federal police has told the RB Leipzig club today that the circumstances of the given case do not meet the requirements for an exemption."
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The onus has now shifted to hosts Leipzig to make arrangements to source an alternative neutral venue, with London being mooted as a possible solution, failing which the Bundesliga outfit could be forced to forfeit the match and hand Liverpool a 3-0 first-leg lead.
UEFA is also reportedly considering delaying all ties that are affected by coronavirus-enforced travel bans, with 2 April said to be the last possible date for matches to take place in time for the quarter-finals to proceed.