Ukrainian clubs react harshly to Barcelona players’ address to Russian fans

22 May, 05:15 PM
The stadium in Chernihiv was badly damaged (Photo:ФК Десна)

The stadium in Chernihiv was badly damaged (Photo:ФК Десна)

Three Ukrainian football clubs have responded harshly to the controversial remarks made by Barcelona players to Russian fans following the Catalan club’s victory in the Spanish championship.

Chernihiv-based FC Desna issued a statement on Facebook in response to the appeal made by Barcelona footballers Alex Balde and Sergi Roberto, who recorded a message to Russian fans after their victory in the Spanish championship.

"A big hello to all Barcelona fans in Russia! See you soon!" said Balde.

Video of day

"Dear fans from Russia! A big thank you for your support and energy! You are also part of this victory! I hope that together we will win many more titles!" said Roberto.

In response, the Ukrainian club invited the Barcelona players to come to Chernihiv and play at the local stadium, which was destroyed by invading Russian troops.

“We are expecting Barcelona in Chernihiv Oblast! It is very convenient from our city to welcome fans of the terrorist country, amidst the sounds of air sirens and the roar of missile explosions. You will have the opportunity to look into the eyes of thousands of families who have lost their homes, their loved ones.”

“And we propose to play your next home match at our stadium, your occupying friends have ‘prepared’ it for the game,” states the club’s message.

Earlier, it was reported that German club Borussia Dortmund would assist in the reconstruction of the stadium destroyed by the Russians in Chernihiv.

Serhiy Palkin, the General Director of Donetsk-based Shakhtar, reminded the players of the Catalan club that Russia has been waging an unjustified war against Ukraine for the past two years, resulting in millions of Ukrainians being made refugees.

Palkin emphasized that Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski also supports Ukraine, and the appeal made by Balde and Roberto to Russian fans was inappropriate.

“We consider this to be an unwarranted and simply immoral act,” said Palkin. “We must remember that no victory on the football field is worth a child’s life, no money earned in the football market is worth ruined cities and the suffering of people. We hope that Barcelona realizes that their support for a country like Russia at this time is absolutely unacceptable. We expect the club to acknowledge their mistake and avoid such situations in the future.”

Earlier, in response to the remarks made by Barcelona players, the press service of Kyiv-based Dynamo posted a message on Twitter, recommending that the players from the Catalan club move closer to their Russian fans.

“We sincerely recommend that FC Barcelona … submits an application to participate in the Russian championship,” reads the club’s message.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news