Ukraine manager Oleksandr Petrakov fined by Uefa after vowing to ‘pick up a weapon’ against Russia

Petrakov has been fined following comments he made to The Guardian in April after Russia made a complaint to Uefa’s ethics body

Jamie Braidwood
Tuesday 20 September 2022 14:34 BST
<p> Oleksandr Petrakov has been fined, according to the head of the Ukrainian Football Association </p>

Oleksandr Petrakov has been fined, according to the head of the Ukrainian Football Association

The Ukraine manager Oleksandr Petrakov has been fined by Uefa after he vowed to take up arms against Russia in the wake of the military invasion of his country.

According to the head of the Ukrainian Football Association, Andriy Pavelko, Petrakov also received a warning from European football’s governing body after Russia succeeded in their complaint that the manager discriminated against them and failed to remain politically neutral.

Russia had accused Petrakov of breaching Uefa’s code of conduct following comments he made to The Guardian in April, in which the 64-year-old said he would “pick up a weapon and defend my city” if Russia invaded Kyiv.

Petrakov revealed he had been turned down by the Ukraine army in the build up to Ukraine’s World Cup qualifiers in June and was told he could better serve his country by leading them on the pitch against Scotland and Wales.

Russia’s complaint came ahead of Ukraine’s Uefa Nations League matches this week, beginning with a return to Glasgow to face Scotland on Wednesday, and Pavelko said Petrakov had received a “minor fine” following his comments.

Pavelko said the Ukrainian Association would cover the fine while accusing his Russian counterparts of creating a distraction ahead of the international window.

“There was a warning and a minor fine that the UAF has the honour to pay,” Pavelko said in a post on his Facebook page.

“So in vain the Russians are trying now - on the eve of an important match of the Ukrainian national team - to distract us from preparing for the game. Everyone is as focused as possible on this and preparing to support our boys.”

Ukraine return to the pitch against Scotland at Hampden, the scene of their stirring 2-0 victory in their first competitive match since the Russian invasion, before then travelling to Armenia.

They will then host the return match against Scotland in Warsaw, with Ukraine unable to play home matches in their own country due to the ongoing conflict, as is the case with Ukrainian teams in European competitions.

Russia remain banned from international competition, although the country have arranged a friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in November.

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