AC Milan release Shevchenko jersey to raise funds for Ukraine

Early on Saturday air raid sirens were sounded in many parts of Ukraine as Russia look to continue its invasion of the country despite the worldwide condemnation and backlash against it.

The footballing world has continued to offer its unconditional support for Ukraine and Ukrainian players with the latest news being action taken against the Russian Football Federation where the Russian team has been banned from the Qatar World Cup.

Similarly, the UK government has continued its crackdown on Russians with ties to Putin as it imposed sanctions on Russian owner Roman Abramovich and his club Chelsea.

At the same time, players have come together before the kick-off of numerous games across Europe to show their solidarity and support for Ukraine.

While these grand gestures are important to send out a clear message against Russia, the efforts that have had a direct impact on the crisis have come from much smaller acts of goodwill.

For instance, Real Madrid’s second-choice keeper Andriy Lunin has been helping with sending rations of food and clothing to the affected regions of his country by organizing donation campaigns at local markets in the Spanish capital.

In a similar effort, Italian giants AC Milan have announced the launch of a ‘Special Edition – Manchester Shevchenko 2003 jersey’ whose sale will be used to raise money for Ukraine.

The jersey is priced at €50 but the club’s website allows for extra donations of €15, €30 and €50 along with the base price which would be donated to the Italian Red Cross for the Ukraine project.

The shirt’s design has been inspired by the 2002/03 Champions League final win of Milan over Juventus at Old Trafford through an intense penalty shootout where their Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko scored the decisive spot-kick to seal the 6th European triumph for the side from Milan.

The kit retains the white strips from the Milan kit worn for the final along with a red collar but combines the colours from the Ukrainian flag on the shoulder stripes and also features the flag’s symbol on the chest along with the club’s crest.

In the centre where the name of the sponsor is typically displayed is inscribed the message “AC Milan for PEACE” along with the peace symbol. The back of the kit carries Shevchenko’s name and the number 7.

The initiative has been warmly welcomed by football fans for combining a message of solidarity with an effort to provide material relief for the affected Ukrainians.