June 6 – The Ukrainian Premier League is planning on resuming from August despite the ongoing war with Russia following approval by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The president of Ukraine’s football federation, Andriy Pavelko (pictured), has reportedly held talks with Zelenskyy and both FIFA and UEFA about finding a way to resume men’s and women’s football in the country.
Ukraine was forced to abandon its leagues in February when Russia began its invasion. But there are now plans to start playing competitively again.
“I spoke with our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, about how important football is to distract,” Pavelko told The Associated Press.
“We spoke about how football has a very big power to help people think about the future because now people, of course, are not in a good mindset. They’re in the worst mood. We spoke about how it would be possible that football could help us to think about the future.”
“So we took the decision with the president that we would resume the Ukrainian championship in August.”
Pavelko says he has also told FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“I informed them that we will resume the championships in the war time in Ukraine … under the bombs and we count on their support. We are discussing the details.”
The government currently prohibits men from 18 to 60 from leaving Ukraine for the war effort and it is not yet clear which parts of the country will be used for league matches.
“We will speak with our military board and the government to discuss how to organise it safely,” Pavelko added.
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