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Football's return important for 'all Ukrainian people', says Zinchenko

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Football's return important for 'all Ukrainian people', says Zinchenko

Berlin, Aug 24 (Ajit Weekly News) Arsenal and Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko believes the return of top-flight football in his home country is important for “all Ukrainian people” following Russia’s invasion.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist 1925 played on Tuesday to mark the first official game played in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion six months ago.

Following that 0-0 draw, three additional fixtures took place and another two were initially scheduled for Wednesday.

Football in Ukraine is not fully back to normal, however, with all matches played behind closed doors in the capital Kyiv or the west of the country, while air-raid sirens will also be used in the event of potential danger, reports DPA.

Sirens were heard on multiple occasions during the suspended match between Rukh Vynnyky and Metalist Kharkiv on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Despite the risks, Zinchenko believes allowing football to resume is a step in the right direction and can boost morale in a country that has been under siege for half a year.

“It’s important for the country and all Ukrainian people because nobody was ready for this situation,” he told Arsenal’s official website.

“People are still suffering and we need to fight every single day everywhere, but we need to keep going, live our lives and carry on.

“People deserve the lives they had before. I’d like to say a massive thanks to the Ukrainian Federation, and president (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy who said we needed to play our competition in Ukraine.

“I know it’s not going to have the best facilities, but we need to keep going and that’s the most important thing for all Ukrainians. I can’t wait and I’ll watch all the games if it’s possible.

“It’s difficult for me to imagine how it’s going to be. There could be a siren and the players need to stop at some point, but it’s so important to show the rest of the world that the Ukrainian people don’t give up, and in any situation, they carry on. It’s all about our people.”

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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