What does it mean that “a group is open” on the first pot of the CL group draw?

I know what a group being open means in the later parts of a group draw, normally teams of the same country cannot play in the same group. But I find it very peculiar on the first pot, in other words the first teams to be placed to groups some groups are not “open” to a club. Does that have anything to do with the game schedule Tue/Wed and TV viewership? So that for instance Real Madrid and Barcelona do not play the same day? Or is it a completely different story?

3 Answers

Teams from the same nation are spread across the two halves of the draw. So if there are 4 English teams, 2 can go in groups A to D and 2 in groups E to H. As such it can cause limitations on other teams.

There are also other limitations, such as the two Manchester clubs must be in the opposite side of the draw to help confirm that they don’t play on the same night, this is due to policing laws. It can all get a bit confusing but as a general rule, the first 2 sentences will be enough.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/champions-league/8721465/Champions-League-group-stage-draw-pots-and-permutations.html for some more help

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