Sports

in yellow and blue, sport pays homage to Ukraine

Grandstands lit up in yellow and blue, donations for refugees and t-shirts for peace… For the second consecutive weekend, the world of sport multiplied initiatives against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite a few incidents. Back in pictures.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been on everyone’s mind since the start of the war on February 24. The world of sport multiplied initiatives this weekend in support of peace and the Ukrainian people. With two hiccups, however: at Chelsea and at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha.

“No War”, no to war: before their derby – meeting generally under tension – the two Manchester clubs showed their unity by entering the field during the 28and English Championship day.

Manchester City, which has one of three Ukrainian Premier League players in its squad, defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, sported white t-shirts with the Ukrainian flag and the slogan ‘No War’ – two words which also appeared on the t-shirts. black shirts that Manchester United wore.

"No War" ("no to war"): before their derby, the two Manchester clubs showed their unity by entering the field during the 28th day of the English Championship.
“No War” (“no to war”): before their derby, the two Manchester clubs displayed their unity by entering the field during the 28th day of the English Championship. © Craig Brough, Reuters

During the minute of applause in tribute to Ukraine and its people, a banner with the same message was unfurled in one of the corners of the Etihad Stadium.

On all Premier League grounds, the players gathered in the center circle took part in a minute of applause in unison with the spectators.

Before the kick-off of the Watford-Arsenal match, a stand on Vicarage Road took on the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Andriy Lunin in the spotlight

In Spain, Real Madrid unfurled a Ukrainian flag on Saturday with the message “All with Ukraine” on the lawn and on the stands of the Santiago-Bernabéu stadium before his match against Real Sociedad in La Liga.

Players and substitutes from both teams entered the pitch wearing white T-shirts with the same message in black and took a photo together behind the Ukrainian flag.

“Tonight, we want to show all our support for the Ukrainian people, a people who suffer the injustice of a war. That’s why today, our player Andriy Lunin will receive all the affection of the Santiago-Bernabéu”, said the Madrid stadium announcer.

Lunin, understudy for Thibaut Courtois in goal for Real, did not take part in the trip to neighboring Rayo Vallecano last weekend.

The Velodrome and the Allianz Arena in blue and yellow

In Germany, the red and white logo of the Bundesliga has been repainted in the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine, in the stadiums and on the visuals of the live broadcast.

Symbolic actions were carried out in the stadiums to denounce the war and show solidarity with the Ukrainian victims.

Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena lit up in Ukrainian colors after the Russian invasion.
Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena lit up in Ukrainian colors after the Russian invasion. © Christof Stache, AFP

Several clubs have announced that they have made donations to NGOs. Bayern donated 100,000 euros to “SOS Children’s Villages” in Ukraine and called on their fans to complete this donation. Mönchengladbach also said it had paid some 94,269 euros.

In Ligue 1, during Saint-Étienne-Metz, the Greens did not wear their name on the back, but the inscription “Peace for All” (“peace for all”). The jerseys were then to be autographed and auctioned off for the benefit of the French Humanitarian Firefighters.

Olympique de Marseille has chosen to illuminate its Vélodrome stadium in the colors of Ukraine. The message “Support for the Ukrainian people” was displayed on signs around the lawn as well as on giant screens in the stadium, where part of the bendable tifo was yellow and blue. Through its foundation, the Marseille club will also organize a collection of clothing, food, blankets and hygiene products.

In the United States, during an NBA game, Boston coach Ime Udoka was seen wearing a bar in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on his polo shirt, hung at the level of the heart. The New Orleans Pelicans players wore yellow socks.

MotoGP “united for peace”

The North American Soccer League (MLS) announced that it and its clubs would make donations to the Canadian Red Cross and Unicef ​​USA “to support humanitarian assistance to children and families affected by the crisis in Ukraine”.

The tribute to Ukraine on the sidelines of the game between Toronto and the New York Red Bulls.
The tribute to Ukraine on the sidelines of the game between Toronto and the New York Red Bulls. © John E. Sokolowski, USA Today Sports, Reuters

In Toronto, fans lit blue and yellow smoke and waved blue and yellow flags during the first period of the game against the New York Red Bulls. The words “Support for Ukraine” were displayed on the stadium’s giant screen and the announcer called on the public to observe a “moment of reflection” on the situation in Ukraine.

In the NHL, the Seattle Kracken franchise invited Ukrainian singer Roman Vashchuk to perform his country’s anthem before a game kicked off. He received a very long standing ovation.

the MotoGP, who returned to school in 2022 this weekend in Qatar, posed for his traditional class photo behind a banner bearing the words “United for Peace” (“united for peace”). Words also displayed during the television broadcasts of the Grand Prix from Friday to Sunday.

Several pilots, like the Italian Franco Morbidelli, wore a “Give Peace a Chance” sticker on their helmets.

In Finland, during the Biathlon World Cup stage, athletes showed their support for Ukraine by decorating their bibs, rifles or overalls with Ukrainian flags and messages for peace.

Two controversies

However, two controversies erupted during the weekend. At the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha, Russian Ivan Kuliak appeared on the podium in the parallel bars event, in which he finished third, behind Ukrainian winner Illia Kovtun, with a jersey bearing the letter “Z” in place of his country’s flag. The letter “Z” has been seen on Russian tanks and vehicles in Ukraine and is interpreted as a symbol of support for the invasion.

In response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian gymnasts, officials and referees will no longer be able to participate in competitions organized by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) from Monday. A disciplinary investigation is also opened against the Russian.


In England, while the Premier League had decided on a series of symbolic demonstrations in support of Ukraine, Chelsea supporters took advantage of the minute of applause before kick-off to chant Abramovich’s name.

The Russian billionairewho bought the club in 2003 before winning all the national and international titles, announced in the middle of the week the sale of the club for fear of being hit soon by the financial sanctions which target many oligarchs – but not him again – in the EU and the UK.

>> To read also: “Roman Abramovich, Russian oligarch and first of the football billionaires”

Chelsea fans chanted the name of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, owner of the club, during the tribute to Ukraine ahead of the game against Burnley.
Chelsea fans chanted the name of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, owner of the club, during the tribute to Ukraine ahead of the game against Burnley. © Oli Scarff, AFP

An initiative that was not to the taste of Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea coach: “It was not the time to do that”, railed the technician after the match. “If we want to show our solidarity, we show our solidarity and we all do it together.”

“When an important figure from our club or another club dies unfortunately, we pay tribute for a minute. It was not the time to give another message. It was a time to show respect (.. .) As a club, we needed our supporters to join in this minute of applause,” added Thomas Tuchel. “We wanted to do this for Ukraine and there is no other opinion to be had on this situation. Our thoughts and support are with them and we must stand in solidarity.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button