Arsenal’s Europa League match in Ukraine to go ahead in Kiev

Arsenal's Europa League match Ukraine

Arsenal’s Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava on Thursday will take place at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

Uefa decided on Tuesday to move the Group E game from Poltava’s Oleksiy Butovsky Stadium – around 185 miles east of Kiev – to the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in the capital owing to security concerns following the introduction of martial law. Politicians in the country this week approved a proposal to introduce martial law in areas most vulnerable to attack following the seizing of three Ukrainian ships by Russia.

Vorskla themselves made some suggestions the game would not go ahead. But Uefa has now confirmed that the Group E match will be played in Kiev as planned.

“First, we need to respect Uefa’s decision because I think it’s not easy for Vorskla,” said Arsenal’s Unai Emery. “For us yesterday we were preparing the first trip to Poltava and waiting in the evening for the last decision.

“It’s not changing a lot to play here. In 90 minutes it is not a very big change. It is clear they are playing in Ukraine, not in their town , but here in Kiev they can also move their supporters. In 90 minutes we want to do our work here. The decision is not easy but with big responsibility.

“We were waiting for this decision but with respect. The travel changed but Kiev also has lot of possibility for us and most important for supporters – we just want to play and win and show every supporter from London to do well.”


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