Arsenal's Europa League Match With Vorskla Poltava Moved To Kiev
UEFA’s Emergency Panel has today taken the decision to relocate FC Vorskla’s UEFA @EuropaLeague group stage match against Arsenal from Poltava to Kyiv, following the introduction of martial law into certain regions in Ukraine.— UEFA (@UEFA) November 27, 2018
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Arsenal’s Europa League Thursday match against Vorskla Poltava was relocated to Kiev because of "security concerns" following Ukraine's decision to impose martial law "amid rising tensions with Russia," according to Sam Dean of the London TELEGRAPH. UEFA’s emergency panel announced the change of venue just 48 hours before the game was scheduled to kick off in Poltava, a Ukrainian city more than 200 miles to the east of Kiev. Instead of being held in the Oleksiy Butovsky Vorskla Stadium, which holds 25,000 spectators, the game will now take place in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, the 70,000-seat venue for last season’s Champions League final. UEFA's decision comes 24 hours after the governing body "insisted that the game would go ahead as planned despite the political unease." UEFA's concerns over security "have been triggered" by the Ukrainian parliament voting to impose martial law in parts of the country following the "dramatic rise in tensions" with Russia last weekend (TELEGRAPH, 11/27). In London, Matt Hughes reported Arsenal has been liaising with UEFA, Vorskla and the Foreign Office since the weekend, "with all parties determined that the group E game should go ahead," but UEFA took the decision on Tuesday night after receiving updated security advice. Poltava is not within a designated area of martial law but "concerns were raised due to its position in the east of the country and proximity to areas of heightened tension" (LONDON TIMES, 11/28).