Manchester City and Everton players took to the field wearing Ukrainian flags before their Premier League game on Saturday, while there were anti-war messages at stadiums elsewhere following Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.
City players walked out before the game at Everton’s Goodison Park, wearing T-shirts featuring the Ukrainian flag and the slogan “No War” while the home players were all draped in the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine.
Both teams had Ukraine internationals on their bench with City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko both appearing on the verge of tears as they witnessed the demonstration of support.
Home fans at Goodison Park unveiled a banner featuring Mykolenko and the slogan “We Stand with Ukraine.”
The two players embraced each other at length during the warmup and received warm applause from the supporters. Zinchecko had attended a vigil in Manchester on Thursday.
“Thank you so much for all the people at Goodison Park. It was so emotional,” City manager Pep Guardiola said after his team’s 1-0 win. “It is not a nice moment for Zinchenko and the Ukrainian people right now. The people from Goodison Park were amazing for this.”
At Old Trafford, Manchester United players stood with opponents Watford before their game behind a banner declaring “Peace” in several languages, which was held by United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The overhead screen at Eintracht’s stadium showed the message “Stop it, Putin.”
Matty Cash, the Aston Villa full-back, took off his jersey after scoring in the Premier League game at Brighton to reveal an undershirt with a message of support for his Poland teammate Tomasz Kedziora.
Kedziora plays for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv and resides in the Ukrainian capital.
Cash received a yellow card for the offence of taking off his shirt.
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