Delay Kiev plans, Toffees tell fans

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Everton have advised fans to delay making any travel arrangements to next month’s Europa League match against Dynamo Kiev.

Friday’s last-16 draw paired Britain’s last representatives in the competition with the Ukrainian team. The Toffees are scheduled to host the Ukrainian outfit in the first leg on March 12 before making the away trip a week later.

However, trouble flared at Dynamo’s round-of-32 second-leg victory over Guingamp in Kiev on Thursday. The game was suspended for around 10 minutes by referee Martin Strombergsson towards the end.

UEFA announced on Friday it was opening disciplinary proceedings, with Dynamo’s list of charges including crowd disturbances, field invasion by supporters and the setting off/throwing of fireworks and objects.

The disciplinary case is set to be dealt with by UEFA next Wednesday and as a result Everton are urging fans to hold fire making any bookings.

A statement from the club read: ” Everton is advising any supporters considering booking travel to Kiev to wait until our official allocation, and the ticketing criteria, have been confirmed. This is likely to be early next week.

“We are also aware of the discussions between Dynamo and UEFA over safety and security matters following the incidents in the stadium during the round-of-32 fixture against Guingamp and will provide any updates on this as soon as possible.

“Details on tickets and official travel packages will appear on in due course. This is likely to be on Monday March 2.”

Boss Roberto Martinez had earlier said: ”At the moment there is a UEFA investigation going on and we don’t know any more details from that point of view. ‘We are going to take every step as it comes and wait for instructions.

”A t the moment it is just about concentrating on the first leg and seeing how the investigation goes with UEFA.”

Martinez – whose side sealed their last-16 place with a 3-1 home victory over Swiss side Young Boys on Thursday, triumphing 7-2 on aggregate – also said he was ”very excited” by the prospect of the Dynamo tie, which he expects to be tough.

”It is a draw that we are very excited about,” the Spaniard said.

”Dynamo Kiev are a top team – they are unbeaten in and top of their domestic league, ahead of teams we know about well in terms of being strong in Europe, like Shakhtar Donetsk and Dnipro.

”They have some well-known players and play in a phenomenal facility. Their ground is special.

”In that respect, it is what we expected – a tough team.

”You always prefer to play at home in the second leg, and unfortunately that is not going to be the case, but there is nothing we can do in that respect.”

Martinez was speaking at his press conference to preview Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal, and he expects Toffees striker Romelu Lukaku to be fit for the game at the Emirates Stadium.

Lukaku came off early in the second half of Thursday’s match, but his manager played down suggestions a hamstring problem might keep him out this weekend.

Martinez said: “Rom is fine. Yesterday was just making sure that we didn’t accumulate too much work.

“The hamstring is fine, he has trained well this morning and I don’t expect it to be a problem for the weekend.”

Everton have John Stones and Aaron Lennon, suspended and cup-tied respectively on Thursday, available, but remain without Aiden McGeady, Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert (all knee), Bryan Oviedo (hamstring) and Christian Atsu (illness).

Martinez said: “Aiden McGeady has been working really well this morning, but just individually, not with the group, and it is exactly the same with Tony Hibbert. He will be a couple of weeks.

“Steven Pienaar is joining the group, but I don’t think he’s ready to be in the squad.

“Bryan Oviedo has started his recovery, but it could be between three and four weeks before he can join the group.

“Christian has flu symptoms and is going to be out of this squad, but I expect him to be available for the next game (Stoke away next Wednesday).”

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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