[UKRAINE-USA] The Football Federation of Ukraine has issued a statement that the March 5 friendly between the USA and Ukraine has been moved to Cyprus. It did not issue any details about the location or time of the match originally scheduled to be played in Kharkiv. Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted Saturday and is on the run, facing charges of mass murder after dozens of protesters were killed in Kiev last week.
The Football Federation of Ukraine statement:
“Taking into account the U.S. football federation requested us for a match outside of Ukraine for security reasons, the football federation of Ukraine has made the decision to hold this game in Cyprus, and not in Kharkiv as it was planned.”
As the crisis reached its peak in Ukraine last week, UEFA moved the Dynamo Kiev-Valencia Europa League match from Kiev to Nicosia's GSP Stadium, which seats 22,859 and is the home of three of Cyprus national team. A second Europa League match, Dnipro-Tottenham, in Dnipropetrovsk was played as scheduled.
Cyprus is scheduled to host Northern Ireland The GPS Stadium will be used during the annual Cyprus Women's Cup, a 12-team tournament that also begins March 5, but the only game scheduled for March 5 at the stadium is scheduled to be played on an adjacent field.
Kharkiv is a stronghold of Russian support, while other parts of Ukraine, notably along the Polish border, are pro-Western. The current crisis was touched off by Yanukovych's rejection of an association of unity that would have brought it to closer to the European Union.