Two Ukrainian football players were killed during the Russian invasion of the homeland.
21-year-old player of the youth team of Lviv “Carpathians” Vitaly Sapyla died in battle near Kiev, enlisted in the army as a tank commander.
And 25-year-old Dmitry Martynenko, a fan of the regional club “Gastomel”, died with his mother when their house near the Ukrainian capital was bombed by Russian forces.
A statement from FIFPRO said: “Our thoughts are with the families, friends and teammates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitaly Sapila and Dmitry Martynenko, the first to report losses in this war.
“May they both rest in peace.”
The Carpathians of Lions called Sapyl a “hero”, announcing that he had been killed in battle on the battlefield.
A statement from the club confirmed that he died last Friday, which read: “We honor the eternal memory of this hero.”
Both FIFA and UEFA have barred all Russian teams from international and club competitions in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion, and last weekend the FA announced it would not want to face any Russian side in any competition.
This came after Poland said it would rather lose a place at the World Cup than meet Russia in the playoffs.
Similarly, there were statements from Sweden and the Czech Republic, which also faced the prospect of meeting with Russia in the playoffs.
Eventually, under increasing pressure, FIFA expelled Russia from the World Cup altogether.
Russia will also not be allowed to participate in the European Women’s Championship next summer, which will be held in England.
Moscow “Spartak” was also removed from the UEFA Europa League, and the opponent in the 1/16 finals of “RB Leipzig” reached the quarterfinals.
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