Shakhtar football team went out onto the Metalist stadium pitch led by the ATO soldiers’ children before the quarter-final match for Ukrainian Cup on November 29.
Both footballers and children were wearing T-shirts with the emblem of Ukrainian Army and “26th anniversary. We are proud of you.” slogan to honor the defenders of Ukraine.
The action was dedicated to the 26th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and was organized by the Football Federation of Ukraine together with the Ministry of Defense.
Earlier, on November 25, a scandal broke out when it was reported that the Shakhtar footballers refused to take part in the action to support the ATO soldiers before the match with Olympic in Kyiv. The children were not allowed to wear T-shirts saying “My father is a hero.”
National Corp activists, Kharkiv City Patriots and The Club from Donetsk representatives stopped the bus with Shakhtar’s football players in Kharkiv on November 28. They accused the players of non-patriotic behavior. The fans warned the footballers they may call to boycott their matches unless they show their support to the Army.
Shakhtar management officially rejected the accusations and called them speculation aimed to discredit the team.
Notably, Shakhtar defeated Veres from Rivne 4:0 during the yesterday’s quarter-final match in Kharkiv.
Text: Olena Sokolynska