UPL’s balanced decision

Thursday, October 22, 2020



FC Shakhtar General Secretary Aleksandr Cherkasov commented on changing the host city of the match vs Vorskla for Kyiv

“We were ready to play the MD7 away game against Vorskla in Poltava, but, as you know, the city is currently in the red epidemiological zone, so it was necessary to consider other options.
Regarding the possibility of holding the match in Oleksandriia: unfortunately, neither in this town nor in the neighboring Kropyvnytskyi there are hotels where we can accommodate the team in accordance with the coronavirus-related safety rules. It must be borne in mind that we recently experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, as well as the fact that we have started the Champions League competitive cycle. Our participation in the Champions League imposes on the club an obligation to observe more strict safety precautions.
The UEFA Return to Play Protocol, in particular its clause 13, contains a number of restrictions and recommendations that we must strictly follow. This applies to the requirements for the availability of single rooms in the hotel, distancing, separate dining area and logistics of moving around the hotel. By neglecting safety standards, we endanger our players, club employees, referees and the administration of our next rivals: Vorskla Poltava and Inter Milan. Therefore, the safety and health of the players and employees is our top priority these days.

Taking into account the current situation, holding the match in Kyiv, where there are no problems with hotels in terms of mandatory sanitary standards during the coronavirus epidemic, UPL’s decision seems to be the optimum and well-balanced. This is our home match, while we will have the away game, as initially planned, in Poltava, if permitted. I think that it’s better for Vorskla to play against Shakhtar at their home ground, enjoying the support of their fans, rather than without any spectators present, in a different city.”