The Ukrainian Government has announced that the domestic Premier League (UPL) will restart play on August 23, with stadia to be equipped with air raid shelter facilities amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
No UPL matches have been played in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February, with the League having been in the midst of its three-month winter break at the time. This commenced in December.
The date of August 23 coincides with Ukraine’s National Flag Day, with the Ministry of Youth and Sports stating: “The Ministry of Youth Sports, together with the Ukrainian Football Association, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, the National Police, the State Emergency Service, regional and Kyiv city military administrations will develop the procedure for organising and holding competitions under martial law.”
Matches will be played in Ukraine, but without spectators present at venues, which will be adapted to cater to the country’s current circumstances. The Ministry added: “There must be a place for shelter near the stadiums, equipped to all standards.
“During air raids, matches will be stopped – football players, coaches and the entire staff must quickly go to the shelter. The presence of representatives of local military administrations, medical teams and the State Emergency Service is mandatory.”
Commenting on the resumption plan for domestic sport, Minister of Youth and Sports, Vadym Guttsait, said on Facebook: “It is very important to restart playing football, like other national championships, in Ukraine.
“We keep competing and cheering. We keep fighting and winning. Ukrainian sport will earn victory on all fronts and cannot be stopped from progressing.”