Chelsea will play Atletico in Bucharest
Chelsea will play Atletico in Bucharest Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Atletico Madrid will play Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Bucharest due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Spain that prevent the English side from entering the country, Uefa have announced.

The match will kick off at the National Arena in the Romanian capital at midnight UAE time on the night of February 23.

The game, which was due to be held at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, was moved because of Spain’s ban on arrivals from Britain, with the exception of passengers who are residents or citizens of Spain or Andorra.

The travel ban was extended on Tuesday until March 2.

“Uefa is able to officially confirm that the Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC will now be played at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest,” European soccer’s governing body said in a statement.

“Uefa would like to express its gratitude to Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Romanian Football Federation for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match.”