Skip to main content

FC Copenhagen waits on Champions League tie in Ukraine

By Tom Sweetman, CNN
updated 2:33 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk plays its home games at the Dnipro Arena in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk.
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk plays its home games at the Dnipro Arena in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk.
  • FC Copenhagen unsure if game against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk will go ahead
  • Champions League match is in doubt due to current conflict in Ukraine
  • Copenhagen currently unable to travel by plane or find insurance for trip

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Danish football club FC Copenhagen has been left in limbo ahead of its European Champions League game at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk due to the current conflict in Ukraine.

Copenhagen is due to face the Ukrainian side on July 29 in the city of Dnipropetrovsk to contest the first leg of the competition's third qualifying round.

However, following the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash last week and the ongoing unrest in Ukraine, the Danish club does not know if it will be able to travel by plane for the game or even find a company to insure it for the trip.

"We are waiting," Copenhagen head of press and communications Christian Wolny told CNN. "There are some issues right now that we need to get sorted.

"There is no way our travel agent can find any company that will fly us to Ukraine.

"It's currently a serious risk to fly over Ukraine, so many, many companies have removed their route to the country. We cannot get there by flight.

"Furthermore, the Danish foreign ministry has labeled the region as being unstable, which means they do not tell us not to go there, but it is not stable. They cannot guarantee what the situation will be in nine days [for the match].

"The last point is our insurance company, they do not cover us in the eastern part of Ukraine, where Dnipropetrovsk is.

"We need to get these three issues solved, and we have made UEFA aware of the situation."

Prior to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash, UEFA's Emergency Panel decided its European club competition matches involving Ukrainian clubs would be allowed to take place in Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa, in addition to Kiev and Lviv.

UEFA has yet to confirm if Copenhagen's trip to Dnipro will go ahead, or if it will be played in another venue.

Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk is currently unable to play matches at its Donbass Arena stadium due to the conflict in the city of Donetsk.

"For us we have no problem with FC Dnipro as a club, or the city that they play in," Wolny added.

"We just need to make sure that it is safe to travel, that it is safe to be there and also that we can actually get there -- which right now is our biggest issue.

"We are not experts, we have to rely on what UEFA tells us."

Copenhagen and Dnipro are vying for a place in the Champions League playoffs, which would then leave one of the clubs two games away from a spot in the group stage of the competition.

"We are preparing as much as we can. But usually at this point normally, for a match of this importance, we have everything ready by now," Wolny said.

"All the details -- transfer plans for players and staff, where to stay, where to eat, everything that would give us the best possible chance of performing on the pitch.

"But right now we don't even know if we can get there. We are trying to prepare as best as we can, but it is not the ideal way to prepare for a game of this importance."

Read: Shakhtar president issues warning to AWOL players

Read: Ukraine-Russia crisis won't force Shakhtar to sell top players

Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.