The military situation, which was introduced in 10 oblasts of Ukraine, from November 28th, contrary to the statements of the leadership of the country, has begun to affect the holding of international sporting events.
The first "distribution" match was the European Football Championship match between Vorskla and the London Arsenal, which was scheduled to take place on November 29 in Poltava, a city that is not in the military zone.
Chronicle of the failed battle of Poltava
The fears that in Europe our military position will be perceived too close to the heart and to other bodies responsible for calm, arose almost immediately. Another reminder of the torment of our teams in various sports, which by the decision of international federations could not conduct home games with foreign rivals in Kharkiv, Dnieper, Zaporozhye.
Not all cities of Ukraine were open to international games (and in February 2014 Dynamo generally accepted Valencia in Cyprus in Nicosia). However, the situation over the years has gradually leveled off. But now it has turned back again.
Despite all the soothing statements of the authorities.
So, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Igor Zhdanov on his Facebook page confidently stated that no sporting tournament of national and international level, which is planned in the areas where martial law was introduced, will not be canceled.
Let's remind, we are talking about Vinnytsia, Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernigov regions.
"As before, restrictions on mass sports events can only be applied if there is information about the serious danger to citizens received from the Security Service of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies," Zhdanov emphasized. "- Ministry of Youth and Sports, relevant national federations by sport and the organizers of the competitions will inform the society about each such case separately. At the same time, of course, at carrying out mass sports events at this time I will усилены меры безопасности ".
The only thing Zhdanov kept silent about is the reaction of federations with international status to the military situation in parts of Ukraine.
But UEFA, the supreme European body in football, also said on November 26 that the introduction of a military position would not prevent the holding of the Vorskla – Arsenal game in Poltava: "UEFA confirms that the match will be held on Thursday in accordance with the scheduled As with all matches under the auspices of UEFA, all necessary security measures will be taken. "
Taking into account the statement of UEFA from the Swiss Nyon, it was decided to demonstrate its own confidence and the Football Federation of Ukraine. On the 27th of November on the FFU website there was a release in which it was emphasized that there are no recommendations or warnings from law enforcement or other authorities of Ukraine regarding the restriction of football events in the country: "Also, the FFU has not yet received from UEFA any warnings regarding the conduct on the territory of Ukraine the period of the martial law of the matches of the Champions League and the Europa League ".
But after seven and a half hours, at 22:15, the FFU issued a message of a completely different nature. It turns out that the special commission of UEFA decided to transfer the match "Vorskla" – "Arsenal" from Poltava to Kiev, to the capital NSC "Olympic". Why exactly in Kiev, not in Lviv, which is declared a reserve city at Vorskla, is not entirely clear.
Similarly, it is unclear how Poltava, which is not part of the military zone, did not please the bosses in Nyon. The explanations that Arsenal was planning to fly to the "military" of Kharkov (and from there to get to Poltava by bus) are not convincing. Because changing the landing place from Kharkiv to Borispol is not difficult. Airplanes often land not where they were planning – for example, weather conditions.
The UEFA Special Commission, which included UEFA President Alexander Ceferin, First Vice-President Carl-Eric Nilsson, Vice-President Fernando Gomes and members of the Executive Board John Dileini and Servet Yardimchi, referred to Article 79 of the UEFA Europa League Rules-2018/2019. Thus, its decision is final and can not be appealed.
This decision created a number of problems for both clubs. "Arsenal" had to urgently search for a top hotel in Kiev, where it would be possible to settle a large delegation of the London club.
Similar problems, complicated by questions of logistics and money back for hotel reservations in Poltava, appeared from English journalists and fans.
It's even more difficult for Vorskla, which needs to organize the match on a level, and prepare itself, and with fans who have previously bought out almost 20 thousand tickets for a match with a grand European football, somehow sort out. And all this – less than two days before the start whistle.
And Shakhtar play with Lyon in Kharkiv
After such a kick from the UEFA, the Shakhtar leadership was clearly tense. The miners, as is known, have been steadily conducting their home matches in recent years in Kharkiv, and he is in the military zone. Unlike Poltava, which suffered in general is incomprehensible due to what.
As the story of Vorskla showed, the serene UEFA statements are not worth anything, as information of a completely different content can fly at any moment.
But the official website of the champion of Ukraine did not publish any statements – on the contrary, he continues to call fans on the game of the Champions League December 12 with the French "Lyon" in Kharkov.
After Pauls Fonseca's Tuesday victory over Hoffenheim, the game with Lyon for the "miners" turns into a final. The victory will open the way to the 1/8 finals of the Champions League, and the draw will give a comforting pass in the 1/16 final of the Europa League.
To such a match "Shakhtar" should approach as much as possible prepared from all points of view, work in a calm and understandable mode, without force majeure, counting on the guaranteed support of fans.
Tickets in the Donetsk club for this game began to sell in the end of August – right after the draw of the group round. Then they could be taken directly to three homemade games of Shakhtar in the group stage in Kharkiv. In mid-November, sales started already on December 12th.
Now all this can lead to serious problems, given the possible reaction of UEFA. However, Shakhtar, unlike Vorskla, has more experience in conducting international matches. And the time for the development of "Plan B" he now is also more.
The fact that "plan B" is necessary is clear even without the statement of UEFA, which already, in principle, created a precedent. The president of Lyon, Jean-Michel Olas, has already said about the potential danger of the match in Kharkiv: "The match of Arsenal has been moved." We are flying into Ukraine in the current political situation, it is not clear yet, it will be difficult to organize a charter. We are waiting for the decision of UEFA. "
What to do in the Premier League
In the two remaining rounds of the Ukrainian Championship (December 17th, December 1-3, December 18, December 7-9), five matches must be held in the regions where the military status has been introduced. In Chernigov ("Desna" – "Zarya", December 1), in Kharkiv (Shakhtar – "Olympique", December 2), Mariupol (Mariupol – Shakhtar, December 7), Zaporozhye ("Zarya" Arsenal, December 8) and Odessa (Chernomorets – Vorskla, December 8).
The Premier League is still silent about this, expecting, apparently, a signal from the FFU, from clubs or from law enforcement agencies. ULL has long shown itself to be an organization that is afraid of taking responsibility, so its position is not surprising.
In Chernigov, the game will not be exactly – it is transferred to Kiev. At first, the Desnas site wrote that this was due to the fact that the heating system of the lawn at the Chernihiv stadium named after Yuri Gagarin does not function in full-function mode. And then, when it came to the military situation, this factor was added, but it was not the main one.
Sites of other clubs who need to already know where to accept opponents, while silent.
It is possible that the games will be, as planned. Moreover, the significance of the game in Kharkiv between Shakhtar and Olimpico increases – the matter of the principle to make it mandatory at the Metalist Stadium to be an argument for UEFA regarding the safety of the match "Shakhtar" – "Lyon" in the Champions League. And in Mariupol, apparently, the miners will also need to go – with the same purpose convince UEFA.
The Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv is still in question. It is unclear whether Shakhtar will play with Lyon
On Thursday, November 29, a match between the male basketball teams of Ukraine and Slovenia will take place in Zaporozhye – in the selection at the World Cup 2019 in the European zone. The day before the game, the team of Evgeni Murzina held an open training in the arena "Youth".
There are no prerequisites for the transfer of the game – on November 27, FIBA Safety Inspectorate visited Zaporozhye, which inspected the arena where the match will be held, as well as the hotels that have chosen the teams. As a result of the inspection, it was decided that the match, as planned, will be held in Zaporozhye.
In the same Zaporozhye on December 4-5, the friendly matches with the team of Portugal Ukrainian national football team should be held. They will go there, on the park of the arena "Youth". Also expected is the arrival of the famous Ricardinho – best futsal player of the planet in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Its kind is analogous to Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
There were no questions about these games yet. And therefore, it is likely that they will be in time in advance in the planned places.