BERLIN (Reuters) - RB Leipzig will not be able to host Liverpool in the Champions League this month after authorities refused to issue a travel permit for the English club, German media reported on Thursday.
German federal police rejected an application by the home club for a special permit that would have allowed Liverpool to travel to Leipzig for the last 16 first-leg tie on Feb. 16 despite COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
"The Federal Police informed the RB Leipzig club today that the case does not fall under the category of exceptional circumstances," they said in a statement.
Leipzig will now have to find an alternate venue for the Feb. 16 clash and must inform UEFA of any change by Monday, the reports said.
The German government has banned all arrivals from areas affected by COVID-19 mutations until at least Feb. 17, with the only exceptions made for German citizens or residents.
Leipzig said they would not be making any comment on Thursday about the Liverpool game.
Liverpool are due to host the return leg on March 10.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond)