Valencia’s first leg Europa League last 32 tie against Dynamo Kiev has been moved from Ukraine to Cyprus because of security concerns.
The tie was scheduled to be played in Ukraine, but the country is currently facing political protests and the country’s President Viktor Yanukovich has declared Thursday as a day of national mourning after at least 26 civilians were killed in the latest violent clashes, according to the Health Ministry.
Valencia players were waiting at the airport with their bags packed before news eventually arrived from UEFA to confirm the match would be moved to the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus.
“The footballers are having lunch and in a couple of hours we will fly to Cyprus. Playing in Kiev was going to be very complicated." club president Amadeo Salvo said. “They guaranteed our safety but there are many unexpected events happening that we can’t control and the best thing is to play at a neutral ground.
“Common sense has prevailed and Uefa have worked hard to find a solution… you have to understand the position of each party:of UEFA, Dynamo Kiev and Valencia. This is the best solution, the most positive outcome, with no date change. We will arrive two hours later, with respect to the players’ planned rest time, but our Liga calendar doesn’t change, nor the planned training sessions.”
Salvo did express his sympathy for some of the Spanish club’s fans, who already had travel arrangements in place to support their side in the Europa League clash in Ukraine.
“To the Valencia fans who were going to Kiev, I would like to say that we are extremely sorry: you were going there to give your support to the club you love, you have spent your time and your money. The only thing we can do is to say thank you and stay in contact,” he said.