Atalanta-Villarreal Champions League match postponed due to snow

Snow falls over the pitch prior to the Champions League, group F soccer match between Atalanta and Villareal, at the Gewiss stadium in Bergamo, Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (SpadaLaPresse via AP)

BERGAMO, Italy (AP) — The Champions League match between Atalanta and Villarreal was postponed on Wednesday because of heavy snow in northern Italy.

Kickoff was initially delayed by 20 minutes before it was decided to reschedule.

A new date and time has yet to be decided but it is likely the match will be played Thursday. Both clubs have domestic games this weekend, and the draw for the round of 16 is on Monday.

Snow fell most of the day in Bergamo and increased in intensity as kickoff approached. Groundsmen continuously shoveled snow off the pitch and painted over the white lines with red paint as every effort was made to get the match underway.

However, the referee eventually decided — together with the UEFA delegate and the teams — to postpone the match.

The game is set to decide which team joins group winner Manchester United in the next round. Atalanta is a point behind second-place Villarreal and therefore needs a win to advance as runner-up. A draw will be enough for Villarreal.

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