The Ukrainian FA has called for all honours to be stripped from former captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk over his silent stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Football has stood tall in response to the invasion. FIFA and UEFA have banned Russia from playing in international or domestic competitions. Several footballing federations had already said they would not play Russia in any match. Meanwhile, the Premier League has cancelled all of its Russian broadcasts.
Individuals haven’t held back either, with Premier League-based Ukrainian players amongst those calling out their Russian counterparts. Everton‘s Vitaliy Mykolenko criticised Russia captain Artem Dzyuba and his team-mates, while West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko labelled Russian players as “s***heads”.
Meanwhile, all-time Ukrainian goalscorer and former manager Andriy Shevchenko begged Russian civilians to stop the war in a heartfelt address:
“I implore you, while there is still time, to stop the war. Go out into the street, say your opinions, you can stop the war, and you need to do this,” Shevchenko told Sky Sports News.
Also amongst the most outspoken footballing figures against the invasion has been Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Expressing his voice through social media, the current Ukraine captain attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin before claiming that Instagram had removed his post.
Having fled Ukraine as a war refugee himself, Zinchenko continues to lead from the front in opposition to Russia’s war. From Instagram posts to interviews, the Manchester City full-back has been anything but quiet on the issue.
Ukrainian legend Tymoshchuk under fire from FA
Unlike captain Zinchenko, the same cannot be said for former Ukraine skipper Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who is yet to speak out against the war. Much to the surprise of his native people, the ex-Bayern Munich man has kept silent on the issue.
Making his name at Shakhtar Donetsk, the midfielder moved to Zenit Saint Petersburg before securing a dream switch to Bayern in 2009. A winner of seven major honours in Munich, Tymoshchuk was part of the 2012/13 Champions League-winning side.
Enjoying similar levels of success for his country, Tymoshchuk earned his first Ukrainian cap in 2000. Furthermore, catching the eye in their 2006 World Cup campaign, the Lutsk-born midfielder would make over 100 appearances.
Moreover, after Shevchenko’s retirement in 2012, Tymoshchuk inherited the captain’s armband.
Such a close connection to the Ukrainian national team is why his silence over the war undeniably comes as a shock. Once a sporting figurehead of the nation, Ukrainians are beginning to turn their back on the much-maligned Tymoshchuk.
Tymoshcuk stays silent
Tymoshchuk currently holds the position of assistant coach at Zenit Saint Petersburg – the Russian club owned by state-backed energy firm Gazprom.
However, that is not good enough for the Ukrainian FA, who wants all of his accolades stripped immediately, including his coaching license, state awards and honorary titles. In a statement posted to their website, they said:
“Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, Tymoschuk AA, the former captain of the Ukrainian national team, not only did not make any public statements in this regard, but also did not stop his cooperation with the club of the aggressor.
“AA Tymoschuk continues to remain silent and work for the aggressor’s club,” it continued.
“AA Tymoschuk damages the image of Ukrainian football and violates Clause 1.4. Part 1 of Art. 4 of the Code of Ethics and Fair Play UAF.”
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