Russia demands UEFA BAN Ukraine national football coach Oleksandr Petrakov for discrimination after 65-year-old said he would ‘pick up a weapon and defend Kyiv’ against Vladimir Putin’s invading armies, claiming ‘I could take two or three enemies out’
- Ukraine national team coach Petrakov made the comments back in April
- He attempted to sign up for the Ukrainian territorial army when conflict began
- Petrakov almost led Ukraine to the World Cup but they lost play-off to Wales
- Now the Russian Football Union has written to UEFA demanding he is banned
- They claim Petrakov discriminated against them and wasn’t politically neutral
Russia’s football federation has demanded the manager of Ukraine’s national team is banned after he expressed a willingness to fight Vladimir Putin’s invading armies.
Oleksandr Petrakov, 65, told the Guardian back in April that ‘if they come to Kyiv, I will pick up a weapon and defend my city’, adding ‘I think I could take two or three enemies out.’
Now the Football Union of Russia [FUR] has written to UEFA accusing Petrakov of discriminating against their countrymen and failing to remain politically neutral, calling on him to be sanctioned.
As reported by The Guardian, the FUR deputy secretary general Denis Rogachev has accused Petrakov of breaching codes of conduct by calling for Russia to be banned from international sport.
Petrakov did attempt to join Ukraine’s territorial defence forces when Russia invaded the country back in February but was advised against it because of his age and lack of military experience.
He conducted himself with immense dignity when Ukraine participated in play-off for the Qatar World Cup back in June. They defeated Scotland but saw their hopes of qualification ended by Wales.
Russia has demanded UEFA ban the Ukraine national team coach Oleksandr Petrakov, claiming he discriminated against them by saying he’d ‘pick up a weapon’ to fight invading forces
Petrakov said in an interview shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February that he would fight to defend the city of Kyiv – pictured is the funeral of military servicemen in the city
Rogachev’s letter to UEFA made no reference to his country’s invasion of Ukraine nor the thousands of civilians and military personnel who have died during the conflict.
‘The statements by the head coach of the Ukrainian representative football team, Oleksandr Petrakov, are made against the background of the political conflict between the two countries – Russia and Ukraine – and represents a political message which obviously violates the fundamental principle of political neutrality,’ he wrote.
‘Moreover, the head coaches behavior can be regarded as involvement on [sic] promoting public hatred on a national basis and the use of football to assert political views.’
It goes on to claim Petrakov effectively made a ‘call for violence’ and was ‘discriminatory on a national basis’.
A Ukrainian unit ride tanks as they take back territory taken by Russia earlier in the conflict
Russia’s letter to UEFA made no mention of the immense devastation caused by their country’s invasion of Ukraine, nor the thousands who have died. Pictured is damage in Kharkiv
The Russian national team and Russian clubs have been suspended from all competitions by both UEFA and FIFA.
In response, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Football Association told The Guardian: ‘When his country was attacked by invading inhumans, [Petrakov] was ready to defend his land, his women and children.
‘He was not accepted into the army due to his lack of military experience, but his step is a testament to his devotion to the country and patriotism.
‘What kind of discrimination can we talk about in relation to a nation that deliberately commits genocide against another nation?’
Ukraine narrowly missed out on a place at the World Cup, losing to Wales in a play-off
Russia’s national football team have been banned from international competition
Petrakov managed various Ukraine youth teams for a decade before being installed as national team manager in August 2021.
A UEFA spokesperson said: ‘We cannot comment on individual cases. When complaints are received, they are dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the disciplinary regulations.
‘We have no further information to provide you with at this stage.’