Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mykhailo Mudryk will play at Euros as home city is ‘bombarded with missiles’

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Ukraine midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk says he will play at Euro 2024 knowing his family is facing Russian missiles “day and night” in his home city of Krasnograd.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Mudryk is one of 13 Ukraine players who have spoken about their home towns being affected by the war in a video produced by the nation’s football association., external

Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bournemouth defender Ilya Zabarnyi also featured in the video.

So too did Dynamo Kyiv striker Mykola Shaparenko, who said his childhood village of Velyka Novosilka “was completely destroyed by Russia”.

Ukraine’s football team face Romania in their opening match at the European Championship in Germany on Monday (14:00 BST).

Chelsea midfielder Mudryk said: “Since the beginning of the full-scale war, my city has been bombarded with missiles day and night.”

He added his parents remain in Krasnograd and “continue to build their lives there and always believe in the victory of Ukraine”.

The city – also the birthplace of Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin – is in the Kharkiv region in east Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops recaptured some on the region with a counter-offensive in 2022.

In May, the Russian military began a renewed offensive in the Kharkiv region.

Andriy Shevchenko, the former Chelsea striker who is now president of Ukraine’s football association (UAF), said: “Our cities desire to host the Euros, but now they are fighting not for the tournament, but for freedom.

“There is no Ukrainian football player, city, stadium, playground, or child untouched by the war.”

The UAF added, “football, like all sports, is not beyond politics” and called on all Euro 2024 countries “to help Ukraine”.



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