Hoffenheim and Stuttgart players join together in a touching gesture of support for Ukraine by holding up a banner declaring ‘stop war’ ahead of their Bundesliga match, following Russia’s invasion of the country
- Football has continued to support Ukraine following its invasion by Russia
- Hoffenheim and Stuttgart came together to hold up a large anti-war banner
- The sign said ‘Stop war’ and ‘We against war’, written in England and German
- Stadium announcer also said that ‘peace is the most important thing for us all’
Bundesliga clubs Hoffenheim and Stuttgart came together in a touching gesture of solidarity for Ukraine last night, with both teams having stood behind a banner saying ‘stop war’ in English after Russia’s invasion.
The words ‘We against war’ were also emblazoned onto the large message in German, while the stadium announcer condemned the bloodshed and said that ‘peace is the most important thing for all of us’.
Their gesture was treated to a rousing reception from the entire crowd ahead of kick-off, with protests across the globe – and the sporting world – increasing by the hour while Vladimir Putin’s devastating assault rages on.
Two of Russia’s big events have been scrapped in reaction to their aggression.
They lost the Champions League final yesterday morning and, just a matter of hours later, were also stripped of their Formula One Grand Prix.
It was heavily reported that Saint Petersburg would no longer play host to football’s most important club game, and it was confirmed that Paris would step in instead.
The Sochi Grand Prix, set for September 25, was also axed. F1 officials initially stalled over a decision before announcing they were pulling the plug for the event.
Elsewhere, Everton are set to remove their pre-match air raid siren ahead of their next Premier League match, while all games in Italy will be delayed in protest.
Hoffenheim and Stuttgart held up an anti-war banner after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
A number of footballers, including Ukrainian internationals Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vasyl Kravets, have also voiced their support for the stricken country.
The display of unity from Hoffenheim and Stuttgart is the latest act of defiance against Russia’s actions, with more expected over the coming days and weeks.
At the PreZero-Arena, supporters were also pictured holding up homemade signs of their own. One such message declared that ‘war is stupid’.
Elsewhere, Sportsmail reported last night that police are expecting disruption from anti-Russia protests ahead of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this weekend.
The big banner read ‘Stop war’ in English and ‘We against war’ in German in large lettering
Supporters also put together hand-made signs, with one banner declaring that ‘war is stupid’
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s alleged links to Putin’s regime have come under scrutiny, and the showpiece offers a platform to make protestors’ voices heard.
Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that the Football Association has put in place an upgraded security operation at the national stadium.
The news comes shortly after Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russia intends to take Kyiv overnight, and urged his countrymen to resist the onslaught.
Zelensky addressed the nation from a secret location in the capital and delivered a dire warning for his embattled people.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, is seen addressing the nation on Friday night
Ukrainian soldiers are pictured forming up on a highway in Kyiv as they look to defend the city
‘Russia will try to break our resistance with all its might,’ he said. ‘Tonight the enemy will begin storming us. We need to withstand them!’
He also warned that Chernihiv, Symy, Kharkiv, Donbas and the south could come under attack.
‘This night will be difficult, very difficult. But the morning will come,’ he said, according to The Kyiv Independent.
UKRAINE WAR: LATEST
- Russia said it is not willing to negotiate with Ukraine’s government until military operation is over
- Came after Zelensky called for a sit-down with Putin to end the fighting
- Putin said he would be willing to send a team of negotiators to meet Zelensky – in Belarus, which is helping with the invasion
- Russian president then called on Ukrainian military to overthrow the ‘regime’ in Kyiv
- China’s President Xi spoke to Putin by phone, called for diplomatic solution to the fighting
- Ukraine says Russia has bombed 33 civilian sites in Kyiv in the last 24 hours
- Two children have been reported killed in Kyiv bombing overnight
- Ukraine has banned men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country to conscript them into armed forces
- Zelensky has allowed anyone of any age to join the armed forces, and called on Europeans from other countries to come and join the fight
- Russia is deploying paratroopers to Chernobyl after capturing it yesterday, Moscow said
- Ukraine reported ‘anomalous’ radiation levels at the plant amid fears nuclear storage was breached in fighting, but Moscow said readings are normal
- Russia claims to have destroyed 118 Ukrainian military sites in 30 hours of fighting
- PM Boris Johnson pledged more support is coming to Ukraine in the coming days
- Johnson shared a phone call with Zelensky on Friday morning
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