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Feb 19, 2014

Spurs match in Ukraine set to go ahead

UEFA has said Tottenham's Europa League match against Dnipro is still scheduled to go ahead as planned, despite Feb. 20 being declared a national day of mourning for the victims of the clashes between police and anti-government protestors.

Tim Sherwood says there's no danger of Tottenham taking the Europa League lightly this round with a last-16 berth at stake.
Tim Sherwood says there's no danger of Tottenham taking the Europa League lightly this round with a last-16 berth at stake.

There has been at least 26 deaths following protests in Kiev, and on Wednesday it was confirmed that Valencia's match at Dynamo Kiev has been moved to Cyprus.

Dnipro are based in Dnipropetrovsk, which is over 200 miles from the Ukrainian capital, and a UEFA spokesman said: "As it stands there is no indication [the round-of-32 first-leg match] will not go ahead.

Spurs boss Tim Sherwood said: "We are just concentrating on playing football and getting the game out of the way.

"It is never great to see scenes of violence in any country at any time. It is not something we concentrate on."

A statement from Tottenham on their official website read: "We remain in contact with the British Embassy and have been advised that the police in Dnipropetrovsk have been briefed to expect British fans and the situation there is stable and under control.

"Once again travelling fans are advised to avoid gatherings and areas where demonstrations could occur such as public squares and administrative buildings during journeys to and from the stadium."

Meanwhile, Sherwood has insisted he is determined to do all he can to make progress in the Europa League, despite leaving a host of big names at home for the first leg of the last-32 clash against Dnipro.

Hugo Lloris, Aaron Lennon. Mousa Dembele and Emmanuel Adeabyor are among those who have not travelled to Ukraine, but Sherwood insists his move is not a sign that he is treating the Europa League with disrespect.

After Andre Villas-Boas, his predecessor as Spurs boss, put huge emphasis on his Tottenham's efforts in the second-tier UEFA competition during his time in charge, Sherwood has stressed he is equally ambitious to bring trophy success to the White Hart Lane club.

"We respect the tournament, we have come this far and we want to continue and progress in the competition," he stressed.

"The players we have left at home are the players who are injured and would not be fit to play in the team. We hope they will be fit for Sunday [Premier League fixture at Norwich].

"We will probably have a minimum of eight internationals in the team, six of which you will probably see at the World Cup.

"It's the only cup competition we are left in and we have enough players in our squad to compete in both competitions and that is what we intend to do."

This story was updated on Feb. 20, 2014, to reflect the latest on the situation in Ukraine.

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