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Reports on Ukraine’s boycott of 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia ‘false’ — team’s spokesman

September 07, 15:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the spokesman for the Ukrainian national team, "the most important task for the team is to finish the round in the first place and qualify for the 2018 World Cup"
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© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. Earlier media reports that Ukraine would allegedly boycott the upcoming FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia in less than two years, are all false, Alexander Glivinskiy, a spokesman for the Ukrainian national team, told TASS on Wednesday.

Russia’s daily Izvestia reported on Tuesday that the Ukrainian authorities and the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) had been discussing the possibility for the national team to voluntarily skip the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"No, this is not true," Glivinskiy stated in an interview with TASS. "I believe that this news is fiction."

"We are currently playing in the qualifying round and the most important task for the team is to finish the round in the first place and qualify for the 2018 World Cup," he explained. "There are no other tasks."

A total of nine qualifying groups in the European zone were put together at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw last year in St. Petersburg. Ukraine was placed in Group I alongside with teams from Turkey, Croatia, Iceland, Finland and Kosovo.

The Ukrainian national team, led by new Head Coach Andrei Shevchenko, played its first 2018 World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday. The home match against Iceland - the sensation of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France - ended in a 1-1 draw.

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football championship after the country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a challenging bid from England, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain and another joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The 2018 World Cup matches will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities throughout Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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