Ukraine solidarity, anti-war messages across stadiums
MANCHESTER—Manchester City and Everton players took to the field wearing Ukrainian flags before their Premier League game on Saturday while there were anti-war messages at stadiums elsewhere following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
City players walked out before the game at Everton’s Goodison Park, wearing t-shirts featuring the Ukrainian flag and the slogan ‘No War’ while the home players were all draped in the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine.
Both teams had Ukraine internationals on their bench with City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko both appearing on the verge of tears as they witnessed the demonstration of support.
Home fans at Goodison Park unveiled a banner featuring Mykolenko and the slogan ‘We Stand with Ukraine’.
The two players embraced each other at length during the warm-up and received warm applause from the supporters. Zinchecko had attended a vigil in Manchester on Thursday.
“To see Mykolenko the last few days has been a huge perspective for me. For anyone that has seen videos then to see Zinchenko…,” Everton manager Frank Lampard said.
“Can we not be at peace with each other? Disagree with each other but not see things that are happening at the minute.”
His opposite number Pep Guardiola added: “Thank you so much for all the people at Goodison Park. It was so emotional.
“It is not a nice moment for Zinchenko and the Ukrainian people right now. The people from Goodison Park were amazing.”
At Old Trafford, Manchester United players stood with opponents Watford before their game behind a banner declaring ‘Peace’ in several languages which was held by United’s interim manager, German Ralf Rangnick.
In the German Bundesliga, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich players stood for a minute’s silence before their game on Saturday.
The overhead screen at Eintracht’s stadium showed the message ‘Stop it, Putin’.
Wembley Stadium’s iconic arch was lit up in the blue and yellow of the Ukraine flag on the eve of the League Cup final on Sunday between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Matty Cash, the Aston Villa full back, took off his shirt after scoring in the Premier League game at Brighton & Hove Albion to reveal an under-shirt with a message of support for his Poland teammate Tomasz Kedziora.
Kedziora plays for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv and resides in the Ukrainian capital.
Cash received a yellow card for the offense of taking off his shirt.