Alexander Cheferin spoke out for the first time since UEFA made an huge mistake in the draw for the eighth finals of the Champions League. As a reminder, when Villarreal was drawn, according to the rules, they could go to six potential rivals because they were not allowed to play against Manchester United, with which they were already in the group, and Real Madrid, which is from the same country.
But instead of six balls, there were seven in the "hat" of Villarreal's potential rivals and Manchester United was drawn first! So, a team that was not allowed to be there at all. The video of the draw clearly shows that a ball was taken from the box on which United's name stood and joined into a common bowl with other rivals with whom Villarreal was regularly allowed to meet.
Andrei Arshavin was confused when he pulled out United, but Giorgio Matchetti from UEFA, who is in charge of all the draws, pretended that nothing had happened and continued with the draw, so the Yellow Submarine was drawn out with Manchester City.
"When I got the information that something went wrong with the software we were using, we immediately organized a meeting. I was not present, but I was on the phone, talking to the notebooks and the people responsible for the software."
"They suggested that the draw be repeated because they were not sure when the mistake happened ... The mistake becomes the mistake when it is not corrected. Our decision was to be transparent and not hide anything. " said Cheferin.
Cheferin on mistake
They were furious in the Real Madrid camp when, instead of Benfica, with which they were connected by the original draw, they pulled out the toughest possible rival - Paris Saint-Germain. The Blancos had something to say about UEFA, while Jugen Klopp and Liverpool, for example, did not mind that they got Inter instead of the most desirable rival of Salzburg.
"It's too early to stop talking about concrete consequences, this was a lesson for us for the future, objectively Uefa's fault. Regardless of the fact that the software failed, we are the organizers." "We must not depend so much on technology and inform the public about new measures ", said the president of UEFA.
Cheferin admitted his mistake, although not completely, so the apology was a logical sequence of events. "We apologize to everyone for what happened. But as I said, mistakes do happen, but this was not a human but a technological mistake," the UEFA main man concluded.