The ongoing Russian hostilities against Ukraine has certainly impacted football in many ways, with clubs severing ties with Russian sponsorships, the Champions League final being shifted and national team captains refusing to play against the Russian national team in European competitions.
Most importantly, it has certainly impacted Ukrainians around the world and footballers have been no exception to this.
The three Ukrainian players in the Premier League, Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko have received support from their respective clubs and managers.
West Ham manager David Moyes confirmed that Yarmolenko has been given time off from his footballing duties ahead of the Hammers’ game against Wolves.
Zinchenko and Mykolenko were both still a part of the matchday squad of their teams, ready to play if called upon. As Everton faced City, the two Ukrainians jogged over to greet each other in the middle of the pitch and take a minute off during pre-match warm-up.
This mutual gesture of support for being available for their clubs during this difficult time had fans at Goodison and around the world applauding the heart-warming moment.
A heartwarming moment as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko embrace before kick-off 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/zgGOfVwclo— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 26, 2022
Zinchenko hails from the city of Radomyshl, a part of the Zhytomyr Oblast (province) of northern Ukraine while Mykolenko was born in Cherkasy, the capital of Cherkasy Oblast in interior Ukraine.
According to various maps tracking the Russian progression, the hometowns of the two Ukrainians are in the interior regions of the country, away from the frontiers where the hostilities are continuing at an alarming rate.
Despite this, both players would be still worried about the current situation and must definitely be commended for choosing to honour football commitments that seem insignificant within the grander scheme of things.