Shevchenko wins Ukraine FA presidency and promises to stamp out corruption

January 26 – Ukraine’s most celebrated footballer, Andriy Shevchenko, was elected president of the country’s football association (UAF) on Thursday, pledging to develop the sport amid the Russian invasion.

Shevchenko, who won the Champions League with AC Milan in 2003 and is Ukraine’s top goalscorer, has been a staunch opponent of Russia’s invasion, speaking out regularly against Moscow’s actions and using his profile to help raise funds for victims and refugees.

Since the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s team have been forced to play home games in neighbouring Poland. They are currently in the play-offs for Euro 2024 qualification.

“A big and responsible task lies ahead – to develop Ukrainian football in the most difficult time in the history of Ukraine,” Shevchenko said on social media after receiving 93 out of 94 votes at the UAF Congress in Kyiv. He was entitled to cast the 94th vote as a delegate but did not do so.

Shevchenko, who retired in 2012 after featuring for Dynamo Kyiv and Chelsea as well as Milan, replaces Andriy Pavelko, the UAF’s long-time president who faces trial on embezzlement charges. Pavelko has denied any wrongdoing.

Shevchenko also managed Ukraine, leading the national team to the quarter-finals of the 2020 European Championship.

The 47-year-old pledged to stamp out corruption at the federation.

“It is very important for us to be transparent,” Shevchenko said, insisting he would oversee an audit of the association.

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