The Champions League last-16 draw has been voided and will have to take place again after a huge blunder by Uefa.
The decision was made because Manchester United were not in the pot when one of the ties was selected. It meant they could not be paired with Atletico Madrid who were furious after they were then selected to play Bayern Munich.
United were also potentially left with a tougher draw after they were selected to face Paris Saint-Germain.
The confusion happened after United were initially paired to yet again to face Spanish club, Villarreal. The tie is, however, prohibited under Uefa rules because both sides faced each other in the group stages
This was not explained by the organization’s general secretary Giorgio Marchetti before United’s ball was pulled out. Instead, he suggested that Villarreal could play any of the group winners left in the competition.
It meant that the former Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin, who was conducting the draw, had to replace United’s ball with Manchester City then selected as Villarreal’s opponent.
The mix-up was an embarrassment for Uefa, who has described the situation as a technical error.
The UEFA statement read: “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,” the body confirmed.
“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET.”