– Barcelona’s vital Champions League game at Bayern Munich next week will be played without fans as new restrictions are introduced in Bavaria aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
– The German government has reacted to rising infection rates by imposing a 50% capacity limit on sporting stadia, with outdoor venues capped at a maximum of 15,000 fans.
– Bavaria, one of the 16 states in the country, has gone one step further, though, by deciding all matches should be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
– Therefore, Bayern’s game at home to Barca on Dec. 8 will be played in an empty Allianz Arena, as will their upcoming Bundesliga matches against Mainz and Wolfsburg.
– Barca released a statement on Friday which read: “Bayern Munich vs. FC Barcelona will be played behind closed doors.
– “The game corresponding to matchday six in the Champions League will be played without fans in the stadium due to the serious increase in coronavirus cases in the German region of Bavaria in the last few weeks.”
– Stadiums were only allowed to admit people who were vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 and only if they could show a negative test.
– Barca can book their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League if they win in Munich. However, a failure to do so could see them drop into the Europa League in the New Year.
– If Benfica beat Dynamo Kiev on the same day, only three points against Bayern will be enough for Xavi Hernandez’s side make the knockout stages of the competition.
– In the event Barca and Benfica finish level on points if Barca draw in Munich and Benfica win the Portuguese side will advance courtesy of their superior head-to-head record.