Ukrainian Fans Express Anger Against Putin’s Invasion During England Match
During the Euro 2024 qualifying match between England and Ukraine at Wembley Stadium yesterday, Ukrainian fans protested against Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of their country. In a coordinated movement that took place in the 24th minute of the game, supporters hurled dozens of blue and yellow paper planes into the air, calling for F-16s to aid Ukrainian forces. England’s players also stood in solidarity with Ukraine behind a flag that read ‘peace,’ sending out a message of hope for the war-torn country.
In addition to the paper planes protest, Ukrainian fans sang songs mocking Putin and his forces, changing England’s anthem ‘Ten German Bombers’ to ‘Russian Bombers,’ customizing lyric sheets that were handed out in the stadium. These sheets were later used as paper planes by fans, which only amplified their message. The lyrics referenced Ukrainian President Zelensky’s appeals to the west for fighter jets such as F-16s to aid in their fight against Russia.
It is evident that the impact of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine has affected the country in several ways, including prohibiting air travel, which made it difficult for Ukraine’s team to travel to the game. Former Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko stressed that the match between England and Ukraine is more than football, thanking the soldiers on the frontline against Russia for their sacrifices. Despite the ongoing situation in Ukraine, it is inspiring to see both countries come together and bring some smiles to people’s faces through sport.
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