The coronavirus epidemic puts Ukraine's national team in a tough spot - just hours before the friendly game with France. The current situation forced main coach Andriy Shevchenko to include Oleksandr Shovkovsky, the seasoned veteran who ended his professional football career in 2016. The 45-year-old athlete, the ex-goalkeeper of Dynamo Kyiv and the national team, Shovkovsky could appear on the pitch tonight.
Ukraine temporaraily lost several players due to their positive tests for coronavirus. It started with Androy Pyatov and Taras Stepanenko, who appeared positive; consequently, the entire line-up of Shakhtar Donetsk went for self-isolation. Some of these are the players of the national team, too. Later, goalkeepers Yuriy Pankiv and Andriy Lunin were tested positive as well.
Currently, the only preferable option is Georgiy Bushchan from Dynamo Kyiv - as long as he stays away from any injuries and his test proves negative. If he's fine by the end of the day, it will be him who's going to play in the starting eleven. Otherwise, Shovkovsky will have to appear on the pitch.
Oleksandr Shovkovsky is now a coach at the managing staff of the national team led by head coach Andriy Shevchenko. UEFA regulations allow players without professional contracts to be included in the official line-up for the fixture, as long as these people own the passport of the country that they represent in respective game.
The friendly between France and Ukraine will be played at Stade des Princes, in Saint-Denis, not far from Paris. The kick-off time is 22.10 Kyiv time.