Europa League Game Moved from Armenia to Cyprus amid Rising Conflict

September 29, 2020

NYON, Switzerland — Armenia will no longer host a Europa League soccer game on Thursday amid the country's escalating conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan.

UEFA said on Tuesday the playoff game in the capital city of Yerevan, between Ararat-Armenia and Serbia's Red Star Belgrade, was moved to neutral Cyprus.

The winner of the single-leg game in Nicosia will advance to the Europa League group stage.

A decades-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh flared again on Sunday. Both sides have reported casualties.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenian forces since 1994. A separatist war started after the breakup of the Soviet Union three years earlier.

UEFA has separated national and club teams from Armenia and Azerbaijan in its tournament draws for more than a decade.


LARNACA — Croatia and Russia stayed level at the top of Europe Group J in World Cup qualifying on Friday after the Croatians beat Cyprus 3-0 and Russia edged Slovakia 1-0 on Friday.

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