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Arsenal’s Europa clash with Vorskla in doubt after venue change

UEFA decided on Tuesday to move the Group E clash from Poltava’s Oleksiy Butovsky Stadium to the national sports complex (NSC) in Kiev due to security concerns following the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.

football Updated: Nov 29, 2018 09:59 IST
arsenal,europa league,Vorskla Poltava
Arsenal were set to play Vorskla Poltava on Thursday.(REUTERS)

Arsenal’s Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava on Thursday is in doubt, with the Ukrainian side saying they are still awaiting confirmation from the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev over whether it is willing to host the fixture.

UEFA decided on Tuesday to move the Group E clash from Poltava’s Oleksiy Butovsky Stadium to the national sports complex (NSC) in Kiev due to security concerns following the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.

Politicians in Ukraine this week approved a proposal to introduce martial law in areas most vulnerable to an attack following the capture of three Ukrainian sea vessels by Russia last weekend.

“At this moment, the process is under way. We have applied to the NSC Olimpiyskiy with an official statement about the possibility of hosting the game,” Vorskla vice-president Oleg Lisak told a news conference.

“The NSC Olimpiyskiy has not provided any answer so far ... We are in stand-by mode ... we are preparing plan A and plan B in terms of stadium preparation.

“We would like to play in our stadium for our fans ... (but) at the moment there’s a situation that we’re organising two games in different places so (the organisation) will be carried out at the appropriate level, with proper security measures.

“Now we’re waiting for an answer from the Olympic Stadium on whether they are ready to host us.”

Arsenal have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition with two games to spare, after securing three wins and a draw in their four matches so far.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 09:57 IST