A friendly between the United States and Ukrainian soccer teams on Wednesday has been moved from the European country due to the ongoing political unrest and regional tensions. Instead, the World Cup primer will be played in Larnaca, Cyprus.
The game was originally scheduled months ago to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Last week, national team officials agreed to move the game out of the country, but reports found that some Ukrainian players refused to leave amid their country’s tumultuous situation.
As recently as Monday night, the Football Federation of Ukraine was still unsure whether the team would travel. Hours later, with the U.S. team in Frankfurt en route to Cyprus, American officials confirmed that the Ukrainian team would be at the game.
Wednesday’s friendly is one of the U.S. team’s remaining two games before this summer’s World Cup kicks off in Brazil. Ukraine, on the other hand, is the highest-ranked team not to make the quadrennial tournament.