Thursday’s Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava has been moved to Kiev after the Ukrainian parliament voted this week to impose martial law in parts of the country.
Tensions in the region are high after Russia captured three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, taking 24 men prisoner, adding to an already delicate situation between the two nations.
In a statement issued this evening, UEFA said:
“The emergency panel has today taken the decision to relocate FC Vorskla’s Europa League group stage match against Arsenal from the city of Poltava, following the introduction of martial law into certain regions in Ukraine.
“Uefa will continue to monitor and assess the security situation in Ukraine in the coming days before making any decision on potentially relocating other matches.”
The game which is scheduled for 17.55 on Thursday evening will now take place in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
Had it gone ahead in its original location in Poltava, some 350km east of the capital, Arsenal faced a four hour road journey after a three and a half hour flight.
With the North London derby on Sunday, Unai Emery was likely to select a fringe squad for the journey anyway, but perhaps a slightly easier travel situation might allow him to add a few more senior players to the travelling party.
We’ll have all the team news tomorrow here on Arseblog News.