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Ukraine coach wants F. Islands game called off

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin wants Saturday's Euro 2008 Group B qualifying match in the Faroe Islands to be postponed after officials expressed concern over the state of the pitch due to snow.

"How should I feel about a postponement? I proposed long ago postponing this match until August, but the French and the Italians rejected that," Blokhin said yesterday.

"The weather conditions on the Faroes are now typical for this time of year. I will be very pleased if the match is postponed. A match should be played in acceptable weather conditions."

"I cannot rule out a situation in which we would fly in for the game, go on to the pitch only to be told by the referee that it is impossible to play and then have to fly home," Blokhin added.

Officials in the Faroes said the pitch was in poor condition after several days of snow. A decision on whether to postpone the match in Toftir will be made today.

"It snowed for three or four days and now it's raining," said Isak Mikladal of the Faroe Islands FA. "Right now it's impossible to play on that field."

In a statement, the Ukrainian soccer federation said it would agree to a postponement.

"If UEFA agrees with the proposal we are prepared to accept your idea and play the match in question on Aug. 22 without seeking any compensation for our losses," the statement said.

Ukraine are fourth in the seven-team group with six points from three games. The Faroes are in last place. Scotland, France and Italy occupy the top places.

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