Football in Ukraine kicked off earlier in the week ©Getty Images

A match on the opening week of the Ukrainian Premier League (UPL) between Rukh Lviv and Metalist Kharkiv took over four hours to be played after being stopped four times due to air raid sirens, as club football returned during the conflict with Russia.

More than twice the length of a regular match, sirens led players to leave the pitch several times at Skif Stadium in Lviv.

Players returned to play with safety protocols in place, including air raid warnings as Russia continues to invade the country.

Last season was cancelled at the halfway stage, as the invasion started days before the winter break ended.

"Safety and security measures is the main priority for us, so both teams had to go to the shelter every time, according to the available safety protocols," said the UPL to CNN.

"The overall time of the match was indeed 4 and half hours."

Bomb shelters have been erected near stadiums too, with fans unable to attend their team's matches either.

An air raid siren was heard prior to Shakhtar Donetsk's season opener against Metalist 1925 Kharkiv, a separate club to Metalist Kharkiv which was formed in 2016 after suspension of the initial team, who have since been reinstated.

Videos on social media showed the sirens going off, before players returned to the pitch.

Metalist won the match 2-1.