1Ukraine

May 10, 2014 (ISN) – Football matches across all Ukrainian leagues will be played behind closed doors this weekend due to security risks caused by political unrest.

The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed the news on its website after recent clashes between supporters of a united Ukraine and pro-Russian groups at recent games.

“Spectator safety is the main priority in all tournaments,” the statement said.

“The Football Federation is in direct contact with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, taking into account their recommendations for the staging of games.”

Matches scheduled to take place in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa and Kharkiv regions have also been advised to be moved elsewhere in an effort to avoid the conflict that has soarked in recent matches.

Fans have been banned from Ukrainian football matches this weekend due to the political unrest engulfing the nation ©Getty Images
Fans have been banned from Ukrainian football matches this weekend due to the political unrest engulfing the nation ©Getty Images

Dozens were injured in the eastern city of Kharkiv in late April, when pro-Russia supporters attacked football fans who had joined a march in support of a united Ukraine.

Five days later, more than 40 people died in clashes that followed an attack on a pro-Ukrainian march held by fans in the southern city of Odessa.

On Tuesday the Football Federation of Ukraine also confirmed that the Ukraine Cup final, scheduled to be held in Kharkiv on May 15, would be moved to another city.

With only two rounds remaining in the Ukrainian Premier League, officials have yet to decide if supporters will be allowed into stadiums for the final week of fixtures.

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