Ukraine trip in corona time: wolfsburgers without understanding

ukraine trip in corona time: wolfsburgers without understanding

The plane that vfl wolfsburg never actually wanted to board took off for kiev on tuesday afternoon.

A european league game during the corona pandemic in ukraine: "I have no understanding for that," said midfielder maximilian arnold two days before the eighth-final rematch with shakhtjor donetsk, in which the vfl will play on wednesday (18.55 o’clock/DAZN) wants to make up for an almost five-month-old 1:2 deficit from the first game.

UEFA, the european football association, overrode all wolfsburg’s concerns in making this appointment. A transfer of the game to one of the locations of the european league final tournament in north rhine-westphalia was also rejected. The only concession to the corona crisis is to have both teams play in the ukrainian capital of kiev and not also travel on to the actual donezk venue in kharkov, almost 500 kilometers away.

Vfl coach oliver glasner does not jump for joy about this development, but takes it professionally. "No player has approached me with any concerns. And I don’t have a bad feeling either," said the austrian. "Because to keep distance, to disinfect, to observe hygiene – we are used to that by now. I have no doubts at all that this will go well on the stage."

The first leg was won by the ukrainian champions on 12 december. Marz in wolfsburg with 2:1. One day later, the soccer season was interrupted for a long time in large parts of europe. Five months later the corona crisis is still omnipresent for the vfl.

His swiss defender kevin mbabu tested positive for the virus after returning from vacation and is therefore also absent for the return match against donezk. In the ukrainian league, there were several corona traps after the season resumed; at the traditional club karpati lviv alone, the virus was detected in 25 players and staff at once in june. "We continue to warn against non-essential tourist travel to ukraine", it says on the website of the german foreign office. This is a so-called "partial travel warning".

Now the wolfsburg team is not flying to kiev for tourism, but to take part in the final tournament of the best eight teams in the european league next week. "This is a tournament in germany, it’s something special," said glasner. "There are probably very prestigious names like manchester united or inter milan in it. Therefore we also want to go there."

It will not be easy after the defeat in the first leg, but the chances are perhaps a little rougher this wednesday than they had been in a ruckspiel mid marz. Because donezk has twelve brazilians in its european league squad, this team was superior to the lower saxons in the first game, especially technically and in terms of play. However, at that time shakhtyor was in rhythm, the game was flowing, the ball was running. And this rhythm is perhaps after two long breaks in the game gone for the time being. "The first leg showed everything that made up donezk," said glasner. "They are a very good team in terms of football and have played on the international stage much more often than we have. But they are seizure."