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Why the Champions League last 16 draw had to be re-done after Manchester United ‘ technical problem’

This morning’s Champions League draw was met with controversy and criticism.

The Champions League last 16 draw took place at 11am this morning and football fans all over the world were extremely excited by the clash between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain - the showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid were set to take on Bayern Munich, while Manchester City and Liverpool drew RB Salzburg and Villarreal respectively.

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Hours after the draw was complete, Uefa confirmed that it was set to be re-done at 2pm.

The re-draw took place this afternoon and Manchester United are now confirmed to be facing Atletico Madrid, while Lionel Messi will return to Madrid to take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s former side.

Why was the Champions League draw re-done?

Manchester United were initially drawn against Villarreal - an error as they weren’t able to face their group stage opponents.

However, for reasons which are unclear, Ralf Rangnick’s team were then not included in the pot to face Atletico Madrid and were later paired with PSG.

Atletico Madrid demanded an explanation as to how this error had occured and, as a result, Uefa made the decision to do a re-draw.

In a statement on Twitter made by Uefa, they said: “Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET.”

Fans have shared their outrage at the disastrous draw - with many suggesting it was ‘rigged’ to see Ronaldo face Messi once again.

Red Devils fans will be happy that they no longer face Messi’s PSG side, but still face a tough test in Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will be frustrated as they are now set to take on Inter Milan rather than RB Salzburg.

The Round of 16 first legs will be played 15th-16th and 22nd-23rd of February 2022, with the return matches on the 8th-9th and 15th-16th March 2022.