On #USAvUKR: "The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled."— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) March 4, 2014
Konkov's statement on Ukrainian television network ICTV :
"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 game was originally moved 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 then 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.)