Ukraine's Karpaty face league expulsion after second no-show

(Reuters) - Cash-strapped Ukrainian side Karpaty face expulsion from the domestic Premier League after failing to turn up for the game at Mariupol on Saturday, their second no-show in the championship over the last week.

The match between the two teams on May 31 was called off after players and team staff of Karpaty, based in the western city of Lviv, registered positive tests for the novel coronavirus.

The re-scheduled game was due to be played on Wednesday but bottom club Karpaty, who won only two of their 24 league matches this season, failed to appear due to financial difficulties.

Karpaty, who won the Soviet Cup in happier times, have already informed the Ukrainian Professional League (PFL) about their inability to complete the season.

According to the PFL’s disciplinary regulations, a team who failed to turn up for a league fixture on two occasions, would be thrown out of the competition.

“On Thursday there will be a meeting of the (Ukrainian Football Association’s) Control and Disciplinary Committee, where a decision will be made,” said the committee’s chief executive Igor Grishchenko.

Karpaty, founded in 1963, are one of Ukraine’s most popular clubs apart from the two biggest teams Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. They competed in European club competitions five times.

“We are all in a state of shock, there were no premises for such a development of the events,” Karpaty coach Roman Sanzhar said on Saturday. “I was sure that Karpaty will continue their participation in the Premier League.

“I thought that the situation would normalize. Moreover, we did not stop training.”

Karpaty’s last game took place on June 27 when they drew 1-1 against city rivals Lviv despite playing the second half with 10 men.

“I hope that at the beginning of next week I’ll meet with the club management and there’ll be at least some certainty,” Sanzhar said. “After all, it’s not known whether Karpaty will retain their professional status.”

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov