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Ukrainian federation president: game off
by Paul Kennedy, March 3rd, 2014 7:55PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, russia

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[UKRAINE-USA] While there was no immediate confirmation from U.S. Soccer, Anatoliy Konkov, the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine announced on Ukrainian television network ICTV that the Ukrainian national team wouldn't fly to Cyprus to face the USA in Wednesday's friendly originally scheduled to be played in Kharkiv before the current crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine have canceled their soccer friendly against the United States in Cyprus on Wednesday, national football federation president Anatoliy Konkov said on Monday.

Konkov's statement:

"We cannot hold the national championship so what kind of football can we talk of at all? 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. Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home."

The Ukraine-USA moved the game from Kharkiv -- a pro-Russian city in eastern Ukraine -- to Larnaca in light of the violent response by police to protests in Kiev. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and replaced by a pro-western government. The crisis escalated to a Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine's mobilization for war.

Konkov is a former Soviet national team player who went into coaching, spending time at six Ukrainian clubs in addition to teams in Russia and Azerbaijan. He also briefly coached the Ukraine national team in 1995.

The ongoing crisis came as the Jurgen Klinsmann continued to work his team of mostly European-based players in Frankfurt, Germany. That squad was reduced to 21 players over the weekend as Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream all withdrew. (Jonathan Spector was a late addition.)


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