Arsenal and Benfica have reportedly found an agreement to play the first leg of their Europa League fixture in Rome.

A photo taken on March 17, 2020 shows the Olympic stadium in Rome, with a statue from the Marbles stadium (Stadio dei Marmi) in foreground. - The European EURO 2020 football championship, due to be played in June and July this year with its opening game and three others at the Olympic stadium in Rome, has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, European football's governing body UEFA said on March 17. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
A photo taken on March 17, 2020 shows the Olympic stadium in Rome, with a statue from the Marbles stadium (Stadio dei Marmi) in foreground (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) 

According to the Portuguese publication, O Jogo, an agreement has been found that will see Arsenal and Benfica play the first leg at the neutral venue due to concerns and travel restrictions in place because of the pandemic.

The first leg was due to take place at Benfica on 18 February but that would have required Arsenal to quarantine on their return.

A venue still needs to be found for the return fixture that should have been played at the Emirates a week later. With the UK’s new restrictions on entry to the country, arrivals have to quarantine.

Although government advice states that there is no travel allowed to any country from the UK, they must have different restrictions for Italy and Portugal, although these don’t seem to be detailed publicly.

According to the report in O Jogo, Arsenal would only have to quarantine on their return if they went to Portugal whereas you and I would have to quarantine if we went to either Portugal or Italy.

Earlier on Monday, Arseblog news reported that the two sides were working together to find a suitable neutral venue.

The clubs have until 5 March to complete the tie. If a team cannot fulfil their fixture, they will be penalised with a 3-0 defeat.

Previous articleWilliam Saliba opens up about Mikel Arteta plus Arsenal news roundup
Next articleArsenal add 4 players to Premier League squad
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.