Defender added to Ukraine World Cup squad

May 30, 2006

KIEV, May 30 (Reuters) - FK Kharkiv defender Olexander Yatsenko has been added to Ukraine's World Cup squad, the country's soccer federation (FFU) said on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old replaces injured Serhiy Fyodorov in the 23-man squad for the month-long tournament in Germany.

Yatsenko is playing for Ukraine at the European under-21 championship in Portugal and will not be available for the senior team at least until Friday.

Ukraine have been hit by a rash of injuries in recent weeks, and Yatsenko joins three other players from the under-21 team, Andriy Piatov, Dmytro Chigrinsky and Artyom Milevsky, drafted into their World Cup squad.

Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko, who has been nursing a knee injury, has been given the go-ahead by team doctors to resume training.

Veteran striker Serhiy Rebrov missed practice on Tuesday although doctors did not consider his condition serious.

Ukraine, who crushed Costa Rica 4-0 on Sunday in a friendly, leave for their final training camp in Switzerland on Thursday.

They have three more tune-up matches -- against Italy, Libya and Luxembourg -- before taking on Spain in their World Cup opener on June 14.

Ukraine, playing in their first World Cup finals, also face Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in Group H.