Inside war-torn Ukraine team's horror journey to England with 16-hour coach trip ahead of Wembley clash | The Sun

UKRAINE have suffered a nightmare journey to Wembley for today’s Euro qualifier.

Manager Roslan Rotan insists any challenges facing his team are dwarfed by their “defenders and warriors” facing Russian invaders on the front line.

But the war  — and subsequent closure of Ukrainian airspace — has forced his players to incorporate trains and buses in their journey to England.

One group of Rotan’s stars, plus medical staff, endured a tiring 11hr 45min train journey from Ukraine capital Kyiv to Przemysl in Poland.

That was followed by a 50-mile, two-hour bus trek to Rzeszow in south-eastern Poland.

Then came a 2hr 9min Ryanair flight to London’s Stansted Airport before another 70-mile, 90-minute  bus ride to the team’s Syon Park Hilton hotel.


Broadcast of England tournament could be CANCELLED as Sky look to cut costs

Win a 2022 Range Rover plus £2,000 or £95k cash from 89p with our discount code

Another group of players and coaching staff left Lviv on a five-hour train journey before meeting up with the first batch at Rzeszow, while the team’s kit men had left Kyiv last Saturday.

Ukraine do not have a home ground to play in. 

They must rent stadiums across neighbouring borders to host “home” qualifiers, while away games such as today’s are a logistical nightmare.

Rotan’s squad have been training at Brentford's base in London since Monday in order to ease the travelling burden on players already stretched by their club schedules.

Most read in Football


Kyle Walker's holds secret legal talks with ex-lover without telling wife


Ex-Liverpool star looks unrecognisable during legends match against Celtic


Broadcast of England tournament could be CANCELLED as Sky look to cut costs


Soccer AM hosts break silence on axe with bizarre joke & swipe at bosses


Following the “home” leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Feyenoord, played in Poland this month, Ukrainian Premier League leaders Shakhtar Donetsk had to travel 18 hours to Kryvyi Rih, a city in southern Ukraine, for a league game against Kryvbas KR three days later.

They then made another 18-hour journey for the away leg four days later, which ended in a record 7-1 defeat.

Just selecting a squad is hugely challenging for interim boss Rotan, who also looks after the Under-21s and is manager of Oleksandriya, currently fifth in the Ukrainian Premier League.

His three jobs and logistical chaos mean he cannot travel abroad to watch Ukrainians such as Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk.

While Ukrainian domestic games are often played in front of empty stands and interrupted by air-raid sirens.

Last August, a game between Rukh and Metalist in Lviv lasted four-and-a-half HOURS as three sirens went off during the game, forcing players into a bunker.

Source: Read Full Article

You May Also Like