Arsenal’s Europa League clash at Vorskla Poltava WILL go ahead despite Ukraine imposing martial law and freezing weather which could see temperature drop to -12 degrees
- Arsenal travel to Ukraine to play Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League
- Thursday’s match will go ahead as scheduled despite regional political turmoil
- Martial law has been declared after incident involving Russian coastguard
- Playing conditions could also be awful, with temperatures well below freezing
- Arsenal are making a 3,000-mile round trip over 14 hours for the game
Chris Cutmore for MailOnline
Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava is to go ahead, UEFA have confirmed, despite the political turmoil in Ukraine and freezing weather which has left the stadium caked in ice.
Martial law has been declared for 30 days with the country in a state of emergency following the capture of three naval ships and their crews by Russian coastguards off the Crimean coast on Sunday. The incident has led to fears of further conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Under martial law, military and civil authorities have increased powers over resources and citizens in order to deter a threat. Property can be seized and citizens can see their rights and freedoms restricted, or be called up for military duty.
Pictures have emerged of the Oleksiy Butovsky Vorskla Stadium, where Arsenal play Thursday
The stadium is caked in ice due to the freezing temperatures in East Ukraine
The temperature could reach as low as minus 12 degrees during the Europa League match
Nevertheless, UEFA has consulted with local official and both clubs and decided the match will be played at the Oleksiy Butovsky Vorskla Stadium at 5.55pm GMT on Thursday.
A statement said: ‘We confirm that the match will be played as scheduled. As is the case for all UEFA competition matches, all the necessary security measures will be undertaken.’
The Foreign Office has urged any travelling Arsenal supporters to ‘be aware of the current political situation and avoid any action or chanting that could provoke a hostile reaction’.
The 3,028-mile round trip was already providing Arsenal with a headache, even before the worrying recent developments.
The total travel time will be approximately 14 hours, involving flights and long coach journeys, just three days before the club’s biggest game of the season, the north London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. Three days later, Arsenal make the trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
Pictures have also emerged of parts of the stadium covered in ice and surrounded by a blanket of fog due to the current freezing temperatures. The temperature is forecast to drop as low as minus 12 degrees during the game on Thursday night.
Unai Emery has fielded strong line-ups so far in the competition, but with Arsenal already through to the knockout stages he could spare some of his big names the hassle of the daunting trip. Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 17 matches.
They have also already made the 4,938-mile round trip to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag this season, winning 3-0 back in October.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery must decide whether to take his big stars on the daunting trip
Arsenal’s two huge trips this season – to face Poltava in Ukraine and Qarabag in Azerbaijan