Two Ukrainian footballers have been killed unfortunately during Russia’s invasion.
Two Ukrainian footballers have died defending their country following Russia’s invasion, according to FIFPRO, the global players’ union.
Following Vladimir Putin’s demand for a special operation to demilitarize and ‘denazify’ Ukraine, fighting has entered its seventh day, with Kyiv and the West dismissing the reason as propaganda.
The International Federation of Professional Footballers has now confirmed that Vitalii Sapylo, 21, and Dmytro Martynenko, 25, died in fighting and are the war’s first football casualties.
A FIFPRO statement read: ‘Our thoughts are with the families, friends and team-mates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, football’s first reported losses in this war. May they both rest in peace.’
Sapylo, a goalie who played for Karpaty Lviv’s junior squad in the third division, joined the Ukrainian army as a tank commander, but is claimed to have perished protecting Kyiv last Friday.
After learning that he had been slain in battle, his club, Karpaty Lviv, dubbed him a “hero.”
On the second day of the invasion, the club released a statement announcing his death, adding, ‘We cherish the eternal memory of this hero.’
His father Roman Sapilo, 44, meanwhile told German outlet BILD: ‘He was such a happy, fun-loving boy. It was an airstrike by that damn Putin. He took my child from me.
Martynenko, who also last played for FC Gostomel in the second level, died alongside his mother after Russian bombers destroyed his apartment building in the city.
Yevhen Malyshev, a professional skier, was also murdered while fighting to block Putin’s men from advancing.
The 20-year-old was a member of his country’s junior team but gave up his sporting career two years ago to join the military.
The Ukrainian Biathlon Federation confirmed his death in a statement, which said: ‘We deeply sing to the homeland, to friends and family. Eternal memory by Yevhen Malyshev.’ The twoUkrainian footballers, during the invasion of Russia, were killed.
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