Ukraine national team manager, Oleksandr Petrakov has been fined and warned by UEFA for discriminating against Russia after he vowed to take up arms and fight Vladimir Putin’s invading armies.
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.’
It led to the Russian Football Union writing to UEFA accusing Petrakov of discriminating against their country and failing to remain politically neutral, calling for him to be banned.
However, in a Facebook post, the head of the Ukrainian Football Association, Andrii Pavelko, wrote that UEFA simply warned Petrakov and issued a small fine, which the organisation paid on his behalf.
He accused Russia of ‘distraction tactics’ on the eve of Ukraine’s important UEFA Nations League fixture against Scotland on Wednesday evening.
‘The Russian hysterics about the head coach of the national team of Ukraine, Oleksandr Petrakov, is not worth the slightest attention because their ill-mannered complaint has long been considered by UEFA,’ Pavelko wrote.
‘Of course, there is no ban and could not have been. There was a warning and a minor fine that the Ukrainian Football Association had the honour of paying.
‘So in vain the Russian are trying now – on the eve of an important match for the Ukrainian national team – to distract our preparations.
‘Everyone is as focused as possible on this and preparing to support our boys.
‘P.S. At the same time, the Russian have nothing to prepare for. As demanded, Russia will not be in the Euro 2024 qualifying draw in Frankfurt, Germany on October 9 and until at least 2024 will not be in official international football competitions.
‘Euro 2024 will pass without an aggressor country! Glory to Ukraine!’