TRAVEL problems have forced Hearts’ Europa League opponents FC Infonet to use six different planes for their trip to Edinburgh.
The Estonians have had to cancel a charter aircraft from Tallinn and instead use scheduled flights. That means their squad will arrive in Scotland on two separate planes today, and then jet home on four different flights on Friday. The disruption is precisely what Infonet officials wanted to avoid ahead of their club’s historic first-ever European tie. They face Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow night in the first leg of the Europa League’s first qualifying round, with the return leg in Tallinn next Wednesday.
Financial problems with the travel company who were organising Infonet’s trip forced the club to abandon their charter aircraft and seek alternative methods. They had no option but to then use scheduled flights to get to and from Scotland.
Infonet are due to train at Tynecastle at 7pm this evening. The club’s media officer, Karina Massalskaja, admitted their travel arrangements were not ideal but stressed that they will not impact on the team’s preparations.
“It’s pretty complicated to find a good flight at such a short notice. That’s why our flight arrangements are like they are,” she told the Evening News.
“It’s a big day for us, because it’s our first game in the Europa League. No matter what the outcome will be, this game will give us experience and a chance to get to know what we are capable of. We will surely give our best.”
The Infonet players have revealed how they are eager to play on the biggest stage against Hearts.
“We will soon go on the field and try our strength against a real football culture opponent in Hearts,” said goalkeeper Matvei Igonen.
“We are currently all in high spirits and ready to play. It is very interesting to discover something new.”
Midfielder Vladislav Ogorodnik added: “Of course, we have a great desire to play and show that we are able to fight, even at such a level.
“This is undoubtedly the pride of Infonet FC, the players and all the management, because it is the whole of our collective achievement.”