Arsenal’s Europa League game is now in danger of not being played after their opponents Vorskla Poltava said they cannot guarantee they will take part in the match.
UEFA moved the match from Poltava 210 miles away to Kiev because of “security concerns” after martial law was imposed in parts of Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia.
Yet an already chaotic situation was made even more farcical on Wednesday when Oleh Lysak, the Vorskla vice president, said the European tie may not actually be played.
Lysak claimed the club had received no confirmation of the move to the capital and that they were lacking ticketing information.
He said, “the Olympic Stadium hasn’t given us any kind of confirmation or any other kind of answer.”
Vorskla also say they are still doing all they can to move the match back to Poltava. Some of the Ukrainian side’s supporters have even called on their club to snub the European tie and refuse to play, despite the potential repercussions.
Their point of view appears to be at odds with Arsenal, who landed in Kiev from London on Wednesday evening. Unai Emery and his squad are under the impression the game will go ahead.
The Premier League club have even gone through the painstaking process of contacting each and every supporter who travelled to Ukraine to assure them their tickets were still valid.
With around 500 travelling from London, the Gunners say they have been told that their fans will be allowed in. As well as several supporters, some Arsenal staff, such as security officials, were understood to be already in Poltava.
Many Vorskla supporters will be unable to attend because of the 420-mile round trip in the adverse weather conditions. Anyone who attends will also have to book accommodation in the Ukrainian capital.