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Reports: Ukraine team refusing to travel to Wednesday’s friendly versus the United States

Mar 3, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

APTOPIX Ukraine Protest

The chaos in Ukraine has dominated headlines around the globe, and already forced the relocation of March 5’s friendly between the United States and Ukraine to Cyprus.

And now it may not be happening at all.

Multiple reports say the team is refusing to travel to Cyprus for its match against Jurgen Klinsmann’s Yanks.

According to Reuters, here’s what national football federation president Anatoliy Konkov said on Monday.

“We cannot hold the national championship so what kind of football can we talk of at all? If we do not have an opportunity to play on home soil, why shall we go to Cyprus in those troubled times for your country? We play for our people and country. Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home,” Konkov told the ICTV channel.

Certainly it’s low on the priority list for a Ukraine (and Cyprus) in turmoil, and entirely understandable. Here’s a statement from US Soccer:

“We have been in contact with the Football Federation of Ukraine and are awaiting final confirmation that the team is still planning to travel to Cyprus for the match.”

Okay, then.

  1. bubba4637 - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    The game needs to be played at the initial location as scheduled. If the Ukranians win, Russian stay. If the U.S. wins, Russia must go.

  2. lunasceiling - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    You can hardly blame them if they decide not to play. How could they possibly concentrate on football when many of the players and staff would be worried sick about family and friends?

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