The U.S. and Ukraine men's national teams moved their scheduled friendly from Kharkiv, Ukraine, to Larnaca, Cyprus, in an effort to escape violence. According to reports out of Cyprus, however, that is not exactly playing out as both parties would have hoped.
Referee Leontios Trattou, who is slated to be the man in the middle for Wednesday's friendly according to the Ukrainian federation, was the subject of a car bombing, the Associated Press reported on Friday. The 41-year-old Trattou was not injured or in the car at the time of the explosion, but the incident has caused Cyprus to postpone all of its first-division matches this weekend. According to the AP:
Police say an explosive device was placed on the hood of referee Leontios Trattos' car and it exploded early Friday in a parking lot outside his apartment in a Nicosia suburb. No one was injured, but his car and another vehicle were damaged.
(Note: The AP's spelling and FIFA's spelling of Trattou's last name differs.) When reached, U.S. Soccer spokespeople did not have an update or comment on whether the incident would have an impact on Wednesday's match, nor could they confirm that Trattou is scheduled to officiate. The game is slated to be played at Antonis Papadopoulous Stadium at 2 p.m. ET.