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Iceland to Meet Ukraine in Empty Stadium

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Iceland to Meet Ukraine in Empty Stadium

The crowd at Iceland vs. Portugal on June 14.

Photo: Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson/Facebook.

The Icelandic men’s national football team meets the Ukrainian team in Kiev, Ukraine, tonight at 6:45 pm Icelandic time, according to ksi.is. This will be the teams’ first game in the 2018 World Cup qualification. The Icelandic team has been preparing since Tuesday last week when they arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. The players then flew to Ukraine on Saturday and practiced at the Olympic field in Kiev yesterday.

Conditions at tonight’s game will be highly unusual, since there won’t be a single spectator in the 70,000-seat arena. Ukrainian fans’ racist behavior in a EURO 2016 qualifier led UEFA to punish them by prohibiting any spectators from attending the team’s next home game in UEFA competition, according to the BBC.

Ukrainian fans will no doubt be heard, though, because they plan to convene in the square outside the arena, where the game will be broadcast on a screen.

This will be the first game with Heimir Hallgrímsson as head coach, but he previously coached the taem along with Lars Lagerbäck, who left his position following EURO 2016 this summer.

The game will be broadcast live on RÚV.

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