AC Milan Drawn Away To Shamrock Rovers In Europa League
UEFA Europa League trophy. (Photo Credit: AP)
Seven-time European champion AC Milan was drawn away to Shamrock Rovers of Ireland when the Europa League second qualifying round pairings were made Monday.
The single-leg elimination game is scheduled on Sept. 17 without fans at Shamrock Rovers 8,000-capacity stadium in Dublin.
Milan visited Ireland 45 years ago to draw 0-0 with Athlone Town in a UEFA Cup second round, first-leg game. Milan won the return game 3-0.
Milan has not played in the Champions League since 2014 and returns to the second-tier competition after agreeing a one-year suspension because of breaking UEFA financial monitoring rules.
Tottenham, a Champions League beaten finalist 15 months ago, was also given an away game, in Bulgaria against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
UEFA ordered all Europa League qualifying rounds to be single-leg games because of the tight schedule in a pandemic-delayed season.
Milan and Tottenham must advance through three qualifying rounds to enter the 48-team group-stage draw scheduled on Oct. 2 in Athens.
More teams, including PSV Eindhoven and Sporting Lisbon, enter the third qualifying round draw being made Tuesday.
Teams that directly advanced to the group stage include Arsenal, Leicester, Napoli, Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow.
Among the 46 pairings made Monday, Champions League regular Galatasaray was drawn away to Nefti of Azerbaijan, two-time UEFA Cup winner Gothenburg will host Copenhagen, and Wolfsburg was drawn to play in Albania against Kuks.
UEFA has offered four neutral countries - Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland - as options to host if a country is unable to stage a game because of travel or health limits imposed to contain the coronavirus.
Monday's draw included national league winners who switched across to the Europa League after being eliminated in Champions League qualifying rounds during August.
Two of those teams have ongoing appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against UEFA orders to forfeit games. UEFA declined to comment on the cases Monday.
Slovan Bratislava of Slovakia and Drita of Kosovo were denied the chance to play by local authorities - in the Faeroe Islands and Switzerland, respectively - after having players test positive for Covid-19 in pre-game checks required by UEFA. Urgent verdicts are expected from CAS this week.
Two games which were postponed last week in the first qualifying round after players tested positive have been given rescheduled dates.
Nmme Kalju of Estonia and Mura of Slovenia will go to Budapest in neutral Hungary to play their game on Sept. 10. Maccabi Haifa will host eljezniar of Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sept. 9 in Israel.