Why is the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw Being Redone?

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixtures will be redrawn after the first result was deemed "void."

A "technical error" involving Manchester United means UEFA will draw the round of 16 matches again. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all thought they knew who they'd be facing in the next round of the Champion's League but those matches will now not happen.

While the draw for the round of 16 is made today, the games will be held across February and March 2022. The group winners are in one pot and will be drawn against one of the group runners-up in the last 16, before the competition moves on to the quarter-finals.

When is the Champions League round of 16 redraw held?

The ceremony for the last 16 of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League will be held in Europe, meaning it will be very early for American audiences.

On Monday, December 13 the second attempt at the draw will begin from 9:00 a.m. ET and 6:00 a.m. PT.

The ceremony usually involves a brief presentation and discussions on soccer before former Champions League players pick the balls out of the pots.

You can watch the ceremony live on UEFA.com or on the UEFA YouTube Channel for free.

Why is the draw happening again?

Teams from the same country and teams who competed in the same group during the group stage of the UEFA Champions League are supposed to be kept separate in the first round of the knockout stages.

However, Manchester United was initially drawn against Villareal even though they both qualified from Group F. Manchester United's name was discarded and Villareal was then drawn against Manchester City. Later, Paris Saint Germain was drawn against Manchester United, which would have pitted Messi vs. Ronaldo.

Later on in the afternoon, UEFA admitted to a mistake and announced that the draw would have to be redone in its entirety.

A statement from UEFA 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." They confirmed that the original draw had been "declared void and will be redone entirely."

Which clubs are in the last 16 draw?

All four English clubs are still in the competition while three Spanish teams are left after Barcelona's exit. Two French teams, two Italian teams, two Portuguese teams and just one German team made it through the group stages. The Netherlands and Austria also have representation in the form of Ajax and Red Bull Salzburg, respectively.

The group stage winners and therefore the seeded teams the draw are:

  • Manchester City
  • Liverpool
  • Ajax
  • Real Madrid
  • Bayern Munich
  • Manchester United
  • Lille
  • Juventus

The second-place teams, and unseeded teams are:

  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Sporting
  • Inter Milan
  • Benfica
  • Villarreal
  • Chelsea
  • RB Salzburg

Teams from the same country cannot play each other at the last 16 stage, while teams who also qualified from the same group will be kept apart too.

Champions League winners 2021
Chelsea are the current holders of the UEFA Champions League trophy and are through to the last 16 of the 2021/22 competition. David Ramos/AFP via Getty Images

When are the next stages of the UEFA Champions League held?

The games for the round of 16 in the 2021/22 Champions League will be played in February and March 2022.

The first legs will be played on February 15, 16, 22 and 23 while the second legs will be played on March 8, 9, 15 and 16.

After this, the draws for the quarter finals will be held on March 18, 2022 with the games being played on April 5, 6 and the 12,13.

The draws for the semi-final will be held on March 18 at the same time as the quarter finals draw. The games will be held on April 26 and 27, with the second legs held on May 3 and 4.

The Champions League final will be played in the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia on May 28, 2022.

This article was updated at 08:10 a.m. ET because of the initial "void" draw and to reveal details of the redraw.