Con­cerns re­main after Ukraine awarded 2018 fi­nal

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

KIEV, UKRAINE » Rus­sia and Ukraine’s po­lit­i­cal ri­valry will ex­tend into the world of foot­ball in 2018 as they try to outdo each other in host­ing two of the sport’s big­gest events.

Ukraine’s cap­i­tal Kiev will play host to the Champions League fi­nal at its 70,000-ca­pac­ity Olympic Sta­dium less than a month be­fore Rus­sia’s 2018 World Cup be­gins. The de­ci­sion was an­nounced by UEFA on Thurs­day.

Just like in neigh­bor­ing Rus­sia, there are con­cerns over foot­ball-re­lated racism and vi­o­lence in Ukraine.

While a game at the sta­dium Sun­day be­tween Dy­namo Kiev and Zo­rya Luhansk ap­peared to pass with­out in­ci­dent as Dy­namo lost 1-0, the club has been re­peat­edly pun­ished by UEFA for vi­o­lence, racism and pitch in­va­sions by its fans at the Olympic Sta­dium. There were also safety vi­o­la­tions re­lated to blocked stair­ways at the sta­dium.

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