It has not been a great couple of days for sports governance. First the FIA with their Formula 1 nonsense, then UEFA and the Champions League draw.
Hands up anyone who is surprised that these self-aggrandising organisations manage to stuff simple things up? Anyone? Thought not.
Short of throwing Rod Stewart into the mix, UEFA could not have made yesterday’s round of 16 draw any more farcical.
Manchester United were playing Villarreal. Then they weren’t because someone realised they were ineligible to be drawn together after meeting in the group stage.
United were then matched against Paris Saint-Germain – Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi. Yes, that’s much better than the first one.
When UEFA eventually wised up to the fact that the draw had been botched, the blame was shifted to an ‘external service provider’.
Let’s be clear here. The blame for yesterday’s debacle falls firmly on UEFA’s shoulders. They are the ones who have introduced rules designed to manipulate the draw.
Teams from the same country and teams who met in the group stage can’t play each other. These are garbage rules designed to please broadcasters.
We already have a situation where teams are seeded for the group stage. This gives the so-called bigger clubs an unfair advantage.
Influencing the draw again at the knockout stage makes a mockery of the competition. Stick all 16 teams in a pot and draw them out. Easy.
Tuesday football on TV
- Udinese vs Crotone – Coppa Italia – Premier Sports
- VfB Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich – Bundesliga – Sky Sports
- Wolfsburg vs Cologne – Bundesliga – Sky Sports
- Norwich City vs Aston Villa – Premier League – BT Sport
- Genoa vs Salernitana – Coppa Italia – Premier Sports
- Manchester City vs Leeds United – Premier League – BT Sport
One to watch
Norwich City manager Dean Smith faces former club Aston Villa for the first time this evening. This could be a feisty one.
Manchester City, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich, Halifax Town and Sporting Lisbon look good bets to win. The five-fold pays around 7/2.
- Chelsea plan summer clear-out in a bid to reduce squad numbers
- Thomas Tuchel wants Mason Mount reunion at Bayern Munich
- AC Milan join race for soon-to-be free agent Marco Asensio
- Man United target Denzel Dumfries changes agents ahead of likely summer departure
- Arsenal to hold talks with Folarin Balogun over future