Saturday, May 21, 2022

Ukrainian Premier League has been canceled as a result of Russia’s invasion

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Due to the country’s ongoing martial law, the Ukrainian Premier League (UPL) season has been canceled, and the title will not be given. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February in what Moscow describes as a “special military operation,” no matches have been played.

Ukrainian League Cancelled

Before the league’s three-month winter vacation, the final round of games was played in December. With 47 points from 18 games, Shakhtar Donetsk was two points ahead of Dynamo Kyiv at the top of the league table.

During the pause, several teams played friendly games to raise money for war victims.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the UPL said: “The football clubs of the Ukrainian Premier League supported the proposal to terminate the 2021-22 season… since the championship cannot be completed due to the extension of martial law status in Ukraine.”

“The standings as of February 24, 2022, will be the final standings of the 2021-22 season, with no winners to be awarded. The corresponding decision was submitted for approval by the executive committee of the Ukrainian Association of Football.”

Qualification for Champions League

The top two teams in each group advance to the Champions League. Players from Ukraine’s top-level make up a large part of the national team. Such talents will now focus on the important World Cup play-off against Scotland in June, which has been postponed.

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After the game was postponed due to the Russian war, the match with Scotland was rescheduled for June 1. After UEFA finalized the fixture schedule, the victor of the tie will face Wales in the final on June 5 in Cardiff.

However, with special permission granted to Ukraine’s footballing elite to travel abroad for friendlies, First Vice President of the Ukrainian FA Oleg Protasov said the war-torn country was preparing for a Hampden semi-final against Scotland four days earlier, as well as friendly matches against France and North Macedonia.

At the World Cup in Qatar this winter, Ukraine, Scotland, and Wales have been assigned to the same group as England, Iran, and the United States. The suspension of Ukraine’s top-flight football league comes as Moscow threatens to hit military targets in the United Kingdom and other NATO countries, as well as diplomats in Kyiv, in retaliation.

Read: Napoli officially sign Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on 5-year contract

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