Russian sports star, including international footballers and Olympic medalists, have taken to social media to express their displeasure with the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which could put their lives at risk.
Fedor Smolov, the Dynamo Moscow and Russia striker engaged to Boris Yeltsin’s teenage granddaughter, tweeted the slogan “No war!!!” accompanied by a blacked-out photograph on Thursday, which quickly swept over Russian social media.
According to prominent Russian volleyball player Ekaterina Gamova, the country does not require a conflict. The average person has no role to play, yet they bear the brunt of the consequences.” “This day, when I stated ‘the war has begun,’ will stay with me forever,” she continued. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I gazed at my son. Thank you, Lord.”
“History has no shortage of black Thursdays, but today is blacker than the rest,” Ian Nepomniachtchi, the world’s top chess player, tweeted. Alexandra Kosteniuk, the women’s world chess champion, uploaded a blacked-out photograph with the words “Pain, dread, powerlessness from what is happening around me.”
On the court after winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev said: “In these times you realize that my match is not crucial. ” It’s not about how my match affects me; it’s about the match itself.
What’s going on is far worse. You realize the importance of peace and unity in the world, and how important it is to treat one other with respect no matter what. We owe it to our planet and to one another to practice environmental stewardship. It’s imperative that we get this right right now.
One of Ukraine’s most notable tennis players, Elina Svitolina, changed her Twitter profile image to a hand painted in the colors of the country’s flag with the words “Pray for Ukraine.”
Other Ukrainian athletes, including those who work and reside in Russia, have also expressed their displeasure with the invasion. To promote peace in Ukraine, Zenit St. Petersburg defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy posted a photo of a Ukrainian flag with the hashtags “#peaceinUkraine” and “#StopWar.”
Defender Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City’s Ukrainian national team uploaded a photo of Putin on Instagram with the caption, “I pray you experience the most agonizing suffering death.” Later, he claimed that Instagram had removed the post.
Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world champion, has stated that he will not participate in a Russian Grand Prix, which has sparked criticism from Formula 1 figures. The current world champion, Max Verstappen, stated: “When a country is at war, it is not right to race there.” Sebastian Vettel claimed Russia has “a really bizarre and wild leadership.”
An unusual meeting is scheduled next Friday to decide the location of the Champions League final in St Petersburg, Russia, which will be replaced by a new host city.
A statement read: “Uefa shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine. As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people. We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency. Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.”
Uefa must now evaluate its lucrative partnership with Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, which invests £33 million per year in big tournaments such as the Champions League. Alexander Dyukov, a Uefa member from Russia who has been called to the emergency meeting, is also the CEO of Gazprom.