Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko has sent an urgent message to Russian footballers and the “citizens of the aggressor country”.
The Ukrainian national football player shared a post on Instagram in which he called on the Russian population to protest against the ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine. Above all, Zinchenko made his “colleagues” responsible.
“Their trump argument is ‘sport has nothing to do with politics’. In fact, sport should not be part of election campaigns, party meetings, advertising slogans or PR platforms. But sport, like any area of life, cannot coexist with war, aggression and death,” wrote Ilkay Gündogan’s teammate.
Shortly before, Artem Dzyuba, a Russian national player, had commented on the Ukraine war on social media. Although Dzyuba spoke out in favor of peace in the neighboring country, sport and politics must be strictly separated. The exclusion of Russian athletes is “discriminatory”.
Zinchenko to Russia’s stars: “Silence is a crime”
The 33-year-old replied with sharp words that he would “not be insulted” by Ukrainian footballers, who had accused him and his national team colleagues of remaining silent in the face of the atrocities of the war.
Oleksandr Zinchenko nevertheless urged Russia’s footballers to finally use their “million audience”: “People love you, they support you and listen to your words. So remaining silent is a crime. I know that in your country oppositional thinking is punishable will, but when the opposition becomes the majority, it begins to gain the upper hand.”
As soon as “human lives are at stake, you can’t be afraid of insignificant penalties,” said the 25-year-old.