If you needed crystal clear proof that UEFA draws are biased and fixed, yesterday’s debacle definitely satisfy you. When you have a draw whereby conditions are attached such as teams from the same country can’t face each other and teams who faced each other in the Group stage can’t do the same, then it is safe to say the draw seizes to be a random draw. For those not on the know, yesterday’s round of 16 draw ended up being a farce as Manchester United were drawn ínitially against Villarreal who they met in the group stage so they couldn’t face them here again. Then United were erroneously left out in the pot of teams to face Atletico Madrid and were subsequently drawn again PSG. UEFA ordered a redraw blaming a software error. Now let’s start with the rule separating clubs from the same country.

Inadvertantly or deliberately they are encouraging clubs from one country to play in the later stages. I don’t agree with this aspect of the draw. The reason why the FA Cup has maintained that old fashioned romance with the fans is the random nature of their draw. Anyone and everyone is fair game such that in the the third round you can get a tie like Man City at Bristol rovers and a tie like Man united vs Liverpool. It adds to the intrigue. UEFA should adopt that same format. This also speaks to the issue of seeding teams. It may work in tennis in knockout tournament soccer not so much. Example, Lille last made the last 16 15 years ago but by virtue of finishing top in a group of minnows, they are seeded. Atletico who made two finals in the last 7 years are not seeded as they couldn’t win a group with 3 past winners of the competition.Lastly I am against doing the draw all over again. Look, we have seen election results stand even though in one county there was a miscount of votes in one ballot box. Redoing the draw puts reputation of UEFA into disrepute. disrepute. How on earth are the soccer world going to trust the system now?