Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko played his club football in Russia before moving to the Etihad Stadium, and the Manchester City man has spoken out on social media
Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko has spoken out about the situation in Ukraine and vowed “we will not give up!”
The 25-year-old took to Instagram to voice his concern as tension between his home country and Russia continues to escalate.
Alongside a photo of a map of the country, he wrote: “The whole civilised world is worried about the situation in my country. I can’t stay away and try to convey my opinion.
“In the photo – my country. The country where I was born and raised. A country whose colours I defend in the international sports arena.
“A country that we try to glorify and develop. A country whose borders must remain inviolable. My country belongs to Ukrainians and no one will ever be able to appropriate it. We will not give up! Glory to Ukraine.”
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Pool via REUTERS)
Zinchenko, who began his career with Russian club FC Ufa, has 48 caps for Ukraine.
He has scored eight times in those games, including the opener in his country’s Euro 2020 victory over Sweden, and he played the full 90 minutes in the quarter-final defeat to England.
His most recent international goal came in a victory away to Bosnia and Herzegovina which earned Ukraine a play-off spot for a place at the 2022 World Cup.
Zinchenko’s comments come amid reports that UEFA is considering moving the 2022 Champions League final away from current host city Saint Petersburg.
“UEFA is constantly and closely monitoring the situation,” a statement from the football body read, though it was stated that “At present, there are no plans to change the venue.”
The Russian city had originally been slated to host the 2021 Champions League final, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the 2019-20 competition prompted the change.
The Krestovsky Stadium, where the final is due to take place, also played host to several Euro 2020 games including the quarter-final between Spain and Switzerland.
The latest news comes against a backdrop of the UK threatening further sanctions if Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“We are aligned with our international allies in saying that we will escalate the sanctions, saying there will be even more tough sanctions on key oligarchs, on key organisations in Russia, limiting Russia’s access to the financial markets if there is a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which I’m afraid to say we are very much expecting,” foreign secretary Liz Truss told Sky News.
Meanwhile, MPs in the UK have called for an end to the “London laundromat” which they say has allowed “dirty Russian money” to flow through the United Kingdom.