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Dynamo Kiev lose point after refusal to play at Mariupol over safety fears

By Mark Baber

September 12 – The Control and Disciplinary Committee of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) has awarded a technical victory to Mariupol after Dynamo Kiev refused to travel to the eastern port city to fulfil their August 25 away fixture.

Dynamo claimed their refusal to play was due to an absence of written guarantees of their safety and wanted the game moved to another city. However, this argument was rejected by the FFU and, prior to the game, the executive committee of the Ukrainian Football Federation voted 28-2 in favour of continuing to hold Ukrainian Premier League matches in Mariupol.

Mariupol has hosted home matches against the ‘Veres’, ‘Chernomorets’ and FC Karpaty successfully and without incident.

Despite the technical loss, Kiev sit in second place in the Ukrainian standings (behind Shaktar Donetsk) whilst Mariupol have moved up to fourth place.

Dynamo Kiev Vice President Andriy Madzianovsky had argued that according to UEFA and FIFA regulations, the level of danger or safety of each match in high-risk areas should be determined exclusively by the special services of each country and law enforcement agencies and, “in our case, there are three such agencies in Ukraine – the Interior Ministry, the Security Service of Ukraine and the State Guard Department. All of the three agencies that I mentioned gave negative answers to Dynamo and the Football Federation that, unfortunately, matches in the city of Mariupol cannot be held at the moment.”

Prior to the FFU’s decision, Madzianovsky said if it went against Dynamo, the club would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, “where our arguments will be taken into consideration and a lawful decision will be made.” It remains to be seen if Madzianovsky will follow through on his promise.

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