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Amid hostilities, Georgia moves UEFA Cup match

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Aug 2008

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NYON, Switzerland (AP)—WIT Georgia will play its UEFA Cup home match against Austria Vienna in Turkey because of recent air and land attacks by Russia.

UEFA said Tuesday that the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in the capital city of Tbilisi was too dangerous for ThursdayÂ’s game amid hostilities between Russia and Georgia.

“Due to political problems in the north of the country, it has been agreed that WIT Georgia will play the home leg of the fixture at the Ataturk Stadium,” UEFA said in a statement.

The Ataturk Stadium is in the Black Sea port city of Rize, 60 miles from the Georgia border. WIT Georgia opted for the stadium after failed efforts to play in neighboring Armenia or Azerbaijan.

The Ataturk Stadium holds 10,500 spectators and is home to Caykur Rizepor, newly relegated to the Turkish second division. The return leg of the second qualifying round will be played in Vienna on Aug. 28.

WIT is the last club from Georgia remaining in UEFA-organized competition this season. Champion Dinamo Tbilisi was knocked out of the Champions League last week by Greek side Panathinaikos.

DinamoÂ’s German coach Rainer Zobel and six foreign players left Georgia earlier this week to seek safety in Germany.

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