With seven English clubs, including Man Utd and Liverpool, scheduled to play in Europe in the coming months, the situation will be closely monitored
Football is a global business and certain competitions, such as the Champions League or World Cup, by their very nature, bring teams together from all over the globe.
Ordinarily that makes for a wonderful spectacle and fans marvel at the contrasting styles of teams from different countries, but it becomes something of a headache during a global pandemic.
The ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 public health situation has been difficult to manage and even saw a number of European countries impose travel bans from the United Kingdom in December.
Covid-19 cases related to a mutated strain of the virus in England have prompted concerns among neighbouring countries in Europe and further afield.
Is there a chance that these bans will have an impact on upcoming European football matches? Goal takes a look.
Will travel bans affect Premier League clubs?
There is a very slim possibility that travel bans from the UK could affect upcoming Champions League and Europa League games involving Premier League clubs.
A number of countries across the world have brought in temporary bans on travel from the UK in the wake of news that a mutated strain of Covid-19 is causing a rise in infections in England.
As of midnight tonight (Berlin time), all flights from the UK to Germany are prohibited due to the coronavirus mutation. Click below for more information. https://t.co/IjTBugPww9
— German Embassy London (@GermanEmbassy) December 20, 2020
Tottenham will lock horns with Austrian side Wolfsberger and Leicester take on to Czech opposition in the form of Slavia Prague.
The travel bans and advisories that have been issued are all short term, usually lasting only for a few days, though in the case of Germany, it has been extended for two weeks until January 6.
Diplomats are working together to come to a solution. Indeed, the European Union has encouraged countries to lift the travel bans and to allow essential journeys while minimising trade disruption.
#COVID19: There will be a limited resumption of travel from the UK to France from midnight tonight (22 December), subject to possession of a negative (recognized PCR or antigen) test result.
— French Embassy UK (@FranceintheUK) December 22, 2020
In some cases, as with France, certain workers are permitted entry to the country provided they can present a negative antigen test – this is something that is likely to apply in the case of football.
However, given how quickly things can change, it is possible that some countries may extend the restrictions.
Last season, owing to Covid-19-related public health concerns, UEFA opted to complete the Champions League and Europa League knockouts by staging mini-tournaments in Portugal and Germany.
When do Premier League clubs play in Europe next?
The fact that the Champions League and Europa League knockout stage fixtures are not scheduled to be played until February or March offers cause for optimism that games won’t be affected.
|Feb 16||RB Leipzig vs Liverpool||Leipzig, Germany|
|Feb 18||Wolfsberger vs Tottenham||Klagenfurt, Austria|
|Feb 18||Real Sociedad vs Man Utd||San Sebastian, Spain|
|Feb 18||Benfica vs Arsenal||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Feb 18||Slavia Prague vs Leicester||Prague, Czech Republic|
|Feb 23||Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea||Madrid, Spain|
|Feb 24||Borussia Monchengladbach vs Man City||Monchengladbach, Germany|
|Mar 10||Liverpool vs RB Leipzig||Liverpool, England|
|Mar 16||Man CIty vs Borussia Monchengladbach||Manchester, England|
|Mar 17||Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid||London, England|
|Mar 24||Tottenham vs Wolfsberger||London, England|
|Mar 25||Man Utd vs Real Sociedad||Manchester, England|
|Mar 25||Arsenal vs Benfica||London, England|
|Mar 25||Leicester vs Slavia Prague||Leicester, England|
Liverpool are due to play the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig in Germany on February 16, with the return leg set for March 10 at Anfield.
Chelsea are booked to play Atletico Madrid on February 23 in Spain, with Stamford Bridge hosting the Spanish side on March 17.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City, meanwhile, are currently down to face Monchengladbach in Germany on February 24 before hosting them at the Etihad Stadium on March 16.
In the Europa League, the dates fall at the same time, with games involving Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester all being played on February 18 and March 25.
You can see all the dates in the table above.