Ukrainian Football Association hopes Switzerland-Ukraine match to take place on Wednesday
The Ukrainian Football Association (UAF) confirms the readiness of the Ukrainian national team for the League of Nations match with Switzerland and hopes that the game will take place on Wednesday, November 18, the press service of the UAF reports.
"The position of the Ukrainian Football Association regarding the canceled match of the League of Nations 2020/2021 Switzerland - Ukraine remains unchanged: the national team is ready for the match in the current team in Switzerland, and we are making every effort to make the game take place on November 18," the UAF said on its website.
Thus, the UAF sent a corresponding letter to UEFA, setting out in it all the nuances of the current situation and possible options for its solution.
"The UAF's position is based on the clear belief that players and staff who have received negative COVID-19 test results are eligible to take part in the match in accordance with the UEFA Return Protocol. There are more than 13 players on the team's list to participate in the match (including at least one goalkeeper)," the message reads.
Therefore, the UAF asks UEFA to assist in obtaining a decision from the local authorities in Switzerland to release the tested players from quarantine and allow them to participate in the match.
At the same time, UAF says it is ready to do everything possible to, according to UEFA's proposal, form a completely new team by the evening of November 18, but considers it impossible for objective, independent reasons. In particular, it is the fact that the U-21 youth team, whose players could form the basis of a new team, played a Euro 2021 qualifying match tonight. If UEFA makes an exception and allows these players to take part in more than one match within 48 hours, UAF will make the necessary efforts to organize their trip to Switzerland and participate in the game.
"This team is the only possible option, because the youth teams did not gather due to UEFA's decision to postpone all matches except the U-21 games. Other players who could theoretically be called up to the main team are in different cities or abroad," the UAF said.
In addition, according to the UEFA protocol, players must be tested in a UEFA certified laboratory before the match. The laboratory specifies the recommended time of departure of football players by which it will be possible to receive all results of tests, it is 21:00. Since the players cannot fly to the match without a negative test result, this fact is another one that makes it impossible for the new national team to participate in the match on November 18. Also, not all Ukrainian players have biometric passports for visa-free entry into EU countries.
"All the above-mentioned circumstances, and this is confirmed by the relevant services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in fact make it impossible to organize a direct charter flight to Switzerland in the allotted time. These objective reasons make it impossible to form a new national team and its arrival at the venue by the evening of November 18. The same reasons exclude the guilt of the national team of Ukraine in this situation. The match could be postponed long enough to form a new team, as provided for in UEFA Circular 66, but such a decision is the sole responsibility of UEFA. The position of the UAF is that the outcome of this match should be determined on the football field and in accordance with the principles of Fair Play," the Association said.
The UAF says that the fact that the possibility of organizing a match within the current international window depends solely on UEFA's position on this issue. "We hope for a quick and objective UEFA decision," it said.