After failing to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, Oleksandr Petrakow addressed the world public with impressive words. “You know what is happening in Ukraine now. War is raging across the country,” said the Ukrainian national coach. “Every day children and women die. Our infrastructure was completely ruined by the Russian barbarians.” Football quickly gave way to more important issues after the 1-0 draw against Wales in the play-off final.
“The Russians want to harm us, but the Ukrainians are fighting back,” said Petrakov. “We defend our country. We just want your support.” Like his coach, Manchester City’s Ukrainian winger Oleksandr Zinchenko asked for help and unity. “We must stop the war. Because today it is Ukraine, tomorrow it can be your country. One does not know. Everyone wants to live in peace,” said the 25-year-old on the BeIN Sports TV channel.
In view of the Russian invasion war, it must seem like a mockery for the two Ukrainians that the play-off against Wales will now have an aftermath. Russia’s football association is said to have lodged a protest against Ukraine with the world association Fifa. Reason: the shirts worn in the defeat against Wales.
There the silhouette of Ukraine can be seen on the front, including the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. According to the Russian news agency “Tass”, this prompted the association to complain.
“The Russian Football Union has sent a protest to Fifa because the Ukrainian Football Union violated the rules of organization by showing the image of Crimea as part of Ukraine on the national team’s jersey,” the statement said Write.
So far, there has been no statement from the world association Fifa on the process.