The league expected these cases. Due to concerns about Russian rocket attacks, matches in Ukraine could only be started in stadiums where there is an air raid shelter in the immediate vicinity. The safety precautions came into effect for the first time in the game between Ruch Lviv and Metalist Kharkiv on Wednesday.
The game was interrupted three times by howling sirens. The players had to wait a total of more than two hours in the shelters of Lviv’s Ukrajina stadium. “Security is our top priority, so both teams had to go to the shelter every time according to available security protocols,” an email from the Ukrainian league is quoted by CNN as saying.
The danger was not confirmed, so the game could continue in each case. The referee blew the whistle at 7:27 p.m. local time – almost four and a half hours after the 3 p.m. kick-off.
In terms of sport, the favorite from Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine prevailed. Yevhen Pidlepenets (37th minute) and Maksym Pryadun (66th) scored for the guests, Yuriy Klymchuk (41st) had equalized in the meantime. Before kick-off, both teams once again took a stand against the war in their country. They walked out with Ukrainian flags around their necks and together presented a banner that read “Russia is a terrorist state.”
Last Tuesday, one day before the Ukrainian national holiday, the season opened with the game Shakhtar Donetsk against Metalist 1925 Kharkiv (0-0). Since then, five games have been played. For security reasons, the games will take place in front of empty ranks.