Ukraine manager, Oleksandr Petrakov is eyeing a friendly match against a premier league Top Club to enable his team to train for their World Cup qualifying game against Scotland.
Amidst Russia’s bombings of Kyiv, the 64-year-old decided to open up about the horrors of the war blanketing his country and his intention to remain steadfast and not try to escape.
Vladimir Putin’s team was expected to face the Scots in the 2022 World Cup playoff at Hampden Park on March 24, but it was suspended owing to Vladimir Putin’s assault in Ukraine.
The new match date has been set for June, but several of Petrakov’s players will be unable to take part or train because competitive football is prohibited in Ukraine for people aged 18 to 60 who can defend the country.
Petrakov is actively planning a way to get his guys back together again and on top form in the months ahead. With Ukraine two wins down fast from the tournament in Qatar, a crucial tie with Wales beckons them if they overcome Scotland.
Considering they are afraid to conduct a local training camp owing to worries of a Russian attack, he has urged the Ukrainian FA to contact UEFA about the chance of his team training overseas, perhaps in the United Kingdom.
Petrakov also intends to organize some friendly matches with Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, and hopefully Arsenal, with the funds generated from the matches going to Ukraine.
While being interviewed by the press, the coach said “We could play at Wembley, for example, against a London club. It could be a good exhibition game, a response for the Ukrainian army, as well as preparatory work for the Scotland game. We have to play because, without the [practice] games, it would be very hard to get to play with Scotland.”
Petrikov also informed the reporters he had weekly calls with players all around Europe, notably Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko.
The coach was reported to have said “They’re calling to me, saying please be safe, we couldn’t bear it if you were killed. You’re staying in a dangerous zone. But it is easier here. If I were there, it would be harder. Mostly, all the parents of these players are staying in Ukraine. The players worry.”
Petrakov, who happened to supersede Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s head coach in August is also one of the brave citizens who has decided to protect their territory against the Russian invaders.
He continued by saying “My family told me to go to western Ukraine but I refused. I said I am from Kyiv, I can’t leave. I didn’t think it would be correct as people have to defend and I can’t run. I thought, if they come to Kyiv I will pick up a weapon and defend my city. I am 64 but I felt it was normal to do this. I think I could take two or three enemies out.”