Ukraine-U.S. soccer friendly, once in limbo, will go ahead as planned
The United States friendly against Ukraine scheduled for Wednesday in Cyprus will go ahead as planned, according to a statement released by U.S. Soccer.
The United States' friendly against Ukraine, already moved due to security concerns, was rumored to be cancelled. The match, which was originally supposed to take place in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday, was moved to Cyprus following weeks of civil unrest in the country. But on Monday Ukraine's national football federation president Anatoliy Konkov said even though the match had been moved to a neutral location, it still made no sense to hold the friendly.
"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," Konkov said Monday, according to Reuters. "Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home."
The match was moved from Ukraine last week, after discussions between the the United States, Ukraine, and Cyprus soccer federations.
U.S. Soccer, however, did not indicate that Ukrainian plans to cancel the friendly were final, saying in a statement earlier Monday night:
"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."
U.S. Soccer released a statement on their Twitter feed confirming Wednesday's match.
On #USAvUKR: "The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled."WAHL: How do you reconcile the two Brazils?
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) March 4, 2014