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Arsenal to play in Kiev amid security concerns

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Arsenal will hope Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (pictured) continues his recent form in Ukraine. AFP

Arsenal to play in Kiev amid security concerns

ARSENAL’s Europa League clash with Ukranian side FC Vorskla was switched to Kiev from the city of Poltava by Uefa on Tuesday after the adoption of martial law in some areas of the country due to escalating political tension with Russia.

The match will now take place in the Ukrainian capital, more than 300 kilometres west of Poltava, at the original scheduled time of 1755 GMT on Thursday (12:55am on Friday morning Cambodian time).

“Uefa’s Emergency Panel has today taken the decision to relocate FC Vorskla’s Uefa Europa League group stage match against Arsenal FC from the city of Poltava, following the introduction of martial law into certain regions in Ukraine,” Uefa said in a statement.

“The match will now take place at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv on Thursday 29 November at 18:55CET.”

‘Full-scale war’

European football’s governing body said future games in the Ukraine, which hosted last season’s Champions League final, could also be relocated.

“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 statement added.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday warned of the threat of “full-scale war” and said Russia had sharply increased its military presence on their shared border as tensions escalate between the ex-Soviet neighbours.

Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea face PAOK Salonika in the Europa League at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night (3am on Friday morning in Cambodia).

The Blues have already qualified for the knockout stages so, with Eden Hazard having twisted his ankle, manager Maurizio Sarri is likely to ring the changes.

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