The United States and Ukraine will play a friendly on Wednesday in Cyprus after all. Reuters reported on Monday that the Football Federation of Ukraine president had told the Ukrainian people that the match had been canceled, but now U.S. Soccer says that Ukraine has confirmed that they will play in the match.
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
Either Reuters invented a quote or the FFU president told the Ukrainian people one thing and U.S. Soccer another. Or maybe something else because, at this point, who knows what's going on anymore. Regardless, the match is on.
Originally, the match was scheduled to be played in Ukraine, but civil unrest in the country forced them to move the match to Cyprus. Reports that the Ukrainian players were refused to travel to Cyprus began to circulate in the Ukraine press on Monday, then came the Reuters report that the match was canceled. The players reportedly did not want to leave their loved ones or risk being out of the country in case things escalated back home. With a temporary government in power and Russian troops exercising force in Crimea, that would be a completely understandable stance.
The situation in Ukraine hasn't gotten much better, but apparently the players will still travel. This is an important match for the U.S. because it is the final FIFA international date before World Cup training camp and, as such, the last time Jurgen Klinsmann will get to play a match with his European-based players before late May.
The match will kick off at 2 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2.
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