US Soccer still expects Wednesday's friendly between the US national team and Ukraine in Larnaca, Cyprus, to proceed as planned, despite a report on Monday that it would be canceled.
"We cannot hold the national championship, so what kind of football can we talk of at all?" Konkov is quoted as saying on ICTV. "If we do not have an opportunity to play on home soil, why shall we go to Cyprus in those troubled times for your country? We play for our people and country. Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home."
When contacted by MLSsoccer.com, US Soccer said the following in a statement: "We have been in contact with the Football Federation of Ukraine and are awaiting final confirmation that the team is still planning to travel to Cyprus for the match."
Several hours later, that confirmation came through:
On #USAvUKR: "The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled."— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) March 4, 2014
The game, originally scheduled to take place in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, was moved to Cyprus last week following ongoing civil and political unrest in Ukraine. However, further turmoil plagued the match itself, as a local referee was the victim of a car bomb. Furthermore, Russia's military incursioninto the Crimea region of Ukraine has brought everyday life in the country to a standstill.