Because people from England are banned from entering Spain, the Sociedad – Man Utd match in the first round of the 16th round of the Europa League may have to be moved to Italy.
According to the Goal, Sociedad – the home team in this match – will most likely choose Juventus Arena – Juventus’s home field – in the city of Turin, Italy to play Man Utd. The final decision on the venue can be made today, after the Italian government and the Turin authorities have agreed to allow the two teams to enter, while exempting the quarantine.
Spain currently prohibits people from England from entering. Man Utd members are no exception, despite the unique nature of top sports. Meanwhile, the British government is willing to accept exceptions for athletes, and at the same time waive quarantine as prescribed for tourists. The second leg between Man Utd and Sociedad at Old Trafford was still going on schedule, on February 25.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and Real Sociedad club have applied for an exemption for Man Utd, to preserve the home advantage for the Basque team. But the likelihood of success is not high, so they have to find a neutral pitch.
Man Utd must go down to round 1/16 Europa League after finishing third in the group stage of the Champions League this season. Sociedad was in the Europa League since the beginning of the season as the sixth-placed team in La Liga last season.
The last time the two teams met on the European level was in the Champions League group stage in the 2013-2014 season. At that time, Man Utd won Sociedad 1-0 at Old Trafford and drew 0-0 in the return leg on the Basque Country.
If Juventus’s home field is selected to host the first leg of the next round of 1/16 Europa League, Man Utd will more or less have a psychological advantage over Sociedad. At the last time playing on the football field in Turin, Man Utd, under coach Jose Mourinho, won 2-1 in the second leg of the Champions League group stage in the 2018-2019 season.
Before the pair Sociedad – Man Utd, the pair RB Leipzig – Liverpool in the first leg of the 1/8 Champions League round in mid-February also had to move to a neutral field. Due to Liverpool not being allowed to enter Germany, RB Leipzig and other related parties decided to choose the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary as the home ground to play the champions of the Premier League.
Kim Hoa synthetic