UEFA confident Shakhtar-Bayern Champions League game safe
MOSCOW (AP) — UEFA is confident that it will be safe to play a Champions League match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayern Munich in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Feb. 17 despite the conflict in the country.
Shakhtar hails from Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the scene of intense fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, but is based in Lviv this season due to the conflict.
While Lviv is approximately 1,000 kilometers west of the fighting around Donetsk, there have been sporadic incidents of violence in the city, including a reported attack on the mayor’s house with a rocket-propelled grenade in December.
UEFA told The Associated Press in emailed comments that it had “no such reservations” about the first knockout round fixture, adding: “We are confident the match will be played in Lviv without any problem.”
Lviv is one of two Ukrainian cities ruled safe to host European games this season, the other being the capital Kiev. Shakhtar is sharing the city’s Arena Lviv, a Euro 2012 arena, with local team Karpaty Lviv.
Shakhtar’s stadium in Donetsk, the Donbass Arena, has suffered damage from shelling during the conflict and has recently become a base for humanitarian aid distribution efforts organized by the club’s billionaire owner Rinat Akhmetov.
Shakhtar has played three Champions League group games in Lviv this season as it qualified second from Group H, but had a better record on the road.