Unai Emery says Arsenal will respect UEFA’s decision to move their Europa League tie against Vorskla Poltava to Kiev.
The venue for the Group E clash was switched to Kiev’s Olympic Stadium from the Stadion Vorskla in Poltava – around 185 miles east of the Ukrainian capital – after martial law was declared in some regions of the country.
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In a statement released on Wednesday UEFA apologised to both sets of supporters for the inconvenience of the switch – which was announced on Tuesday – and says it will send senior security experts to assess the situation in Ukraine.
Vorskla, meanwhile, made some suggestions the game would still not take place – although an Instagram post from their account later showed the squad boarding a coach bound for Kiev. “First, we need to respect UEFA’s decision because I think it’s not easy for Vorskla,” Emery said.
“For us yesterday we were preparing the first trip to Poltava and waiting in the evening for the last decision. “It’s not changing a lot to play here.
In 90 minutes it is not a very big change. It is clear they are playing in Ukraine, not in their town, but here in Kiev they can also move their supporters. “In 90 minutes we want to do our work here. The decision is not easy but with big responsibility.
UEFA yesterday found the best decision to play and also with protecting everybody, us and them. “We were waiting for this decision but with respect. The travel changed but Kiev also has lot of possibility for us and most important for supporters – we just want to play and win and show every supporter from London to do well.”