Ukraine soccer league declares season over after invasion

A bulldozer works at a central stadium damaged by Russian forces' shelling in Chernihiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The Ukrainian Premier League soccer season has been officially declared to be over following the Russian invasion.

The league said after a video conference with clubs Tuesday that the standings as of Feb. 24, when the Russian invasion began and games were suspended, will be declared final “because the championship cannot be played to completion.” Shakhtar Donetsk was the leader at that time but the league said no official award would be made.

The standings could potentially determine qualification for European competitions next season if Ukrainian clubs are deemed able to take part. The league’s decision must be approved by the Ukrainian Football Association.

Of the 16 top-flight teams, FC Mariupol’s home stadium is now in territory under Russian control and the stadium of Desna Chernihiv was wrecked by bombardments that collapsed part of a stand and left a deep crater in the field.

Ukraine’s two biggest teams, Shakhtar and Dynamo Kyiv are each touring Europe to play a series of charity games against clubs from around the continent and raise funds for people affected by the war.

Shakhtar previously had to leave its home city of Donetsk in 2014 when it was taken over by Russia-backed separatists and has since been based elsewhere in Ukraine, as has another top-division club, Zorya Luhansk.

Publish : 2022-04-27 15:52:00

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