Farcical Champions League Draw Embarrasses UEFA, But Mzansi Sees The Funny Side

Farcical Champions League Draw Embarrasses UEFA, But Mzansi Sees The Funny Side

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:53 PM
In this article:
UEFA Champions League logo
  • The draw was expected to produce mouth-watering clashes as the heavyweights of European football had advanced to the knockout stages of the competition
  • A significant mix up in the drawing pots saw Manchester United being illogically drawn against Villarreal, before a correction resulted in the Red Devils drawing Paris St Germain
  • Some social media immediately users smelt a rat, claiming that interested parties wanted another Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi spectacle on the biggest stage

The televised draw of 2020/21 UEFA Champions League 16 was a spectacularly embarrassing affair which drew derision and accusations of incompetence and nefarious dealings.

Taking place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, a mix up in the seeding balls from the drawing pots saw Manchester United being drawn against Villarreal. This was impossible as both teams had been in, and qualified from Group F in the round-robin stage of the competition.

uefa champions league, round of 16, last 16, rigged, manchester united, real madrid, paris st germain, lionel messi, cristiano ronaldo
The initial Champions League Round of 16 draw vs the revised one. Image source: @ChampionsLeague/Twitter
Source: Twitter

The mistake was quickly rectified, but the horse had already bolted at this point on social media, particularly on Twitter. After several clubs complained about the "integrity of the draw" later, it had to be redone.

Farcical Champions League Draw Embarrasses UEFA, But Mzansi Sees The Funny Side
Andrey Arshavin, the ambassador for the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final to be held in St. Petersburg in Russia, draws Manchester United. Image source: Richard Juilliart/UEFA/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A conspiracy theory developed in recent times that seeding balls are warmed to rig favourable draws for major competitions worldwide. This time around, the theory was that Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United and his great arch-rival Lionel Messi's Paris St Germain would collide probably one last time, something that was quickly pounced upon on by conspiracy theorists.

@Mthiya_sa said:

"Imagine if CAF did the very same mistake that #UEFA made today. They were going to be told how unprofessional they are. Anyway continue with your day guys"

@Evidence_Shongw said:

"The error that happened with #UCLdraw is the same mistake that was made by ballon d'or award few weeks ago"

@Abo_Qua said:

"#UCLdraw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 15:00 CET. I did say that it was rigged, bunch of corrupt people..."

@IAmMotswane said:

"FIFA: we don’t know what we’re doing. UEFA: hold my beer #UCLdraw"
Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
Editor- Local Desk