Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ukraine's Century-Long Quest

Ukraine will finally get the chance to appear in a World Cup for the first time, in Germany, despite a proud footballing history that stretches back over a century.The first documented evidence of introduction to the game comes from the western Ukrainian city Lviv, where the first football match between the hosts and the visitors Krakow was held on July 14, 1894.It was a sudden-death match, held at a newly built 7,000-seat stadium in Stryisky Park, which ended in the sixth minute when Wlodzimierz Gatynsky of the host team netted the winning goal.By the beginning of the 20th century, football was rapidly becoming popular in most regions of Ukraine, which was then part of the Russian empire.Dozens of teams and leagues were established in almost every Ukrainian city due in large part to the influence of the British companies which were doing business in the region and are credited with popularising the game.The visit of Turkish side Fenerbahce to Odessa just before the outbreak of World War I opened the international football era at Ukraine. Click here to read full story.

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