Two Ukrainian footballers have died fighting amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, global footballers’ union FIFPRO has confirmed.
The 21-year-old Vitalii Sapylo and 25-year-old Dmytro Martynenko have lost their lives in the conflict following the military invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, Goal.com reported. Sapylo was a goalkeeper with the third-division side Karpaty Lviv’s youth team, while Martynenko last represented second-division side FC Hostomel.
“Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and teammates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, football’s first reported losses in this war. May they both rest in peace,” FIFPRO’s official statement stated.
Following rising tension between Russia and Ukraine, the sports fraternity has become proactive and many events in Russia have been cancelled, including the Russian Grand Prix.
The Champions League final has also been moved out of Russia and it will now take place in Paris.
Earlier, Chelsea FC’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich confirmed he will sell the club after spending 19 years in charge of the club.
Abramovich has faced severe backlash due to his alleged close ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin amid the country’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.