When we mention Georgian football, you might be excused for thinking of Bulldog tailback Knowshon Moreno before thinking of the other football (we call it “soccer”) and the other Georgia, the former Soviet republic, which plays Wales today in Swansea. After all, Wales v. Georgia is not exactly Brazil v. Argentina. It’s not even West Ham v. Wigan. But today’s friendly carries extra drama because it looked like it was going to be canceled due to war.
Last week, players in Tbilisi seemed stuck there. They couldn’t secure visas to come to the UK—the offices were all closed—and they weren’t sure they could find safe passage. But they hopped on a bus and took a 20-hour trip out of Georgia into Azerbaijan. After some trouble at the border, they were able to clear the red tape and make their way west.