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28th Feb 2022

Ukrainian Roman Yaremchuk moved to tears by Benfica fans show of support

Simon Lloyd

A touching moment in Lisbon

Ukrainian international Roman Yaremchuk was visibly moved by Benfica supporters’ show of support for him and his homeland during Sunday’s game against Vitoria.

The 26-year-old had started the game on the bench but came on for Darwin Nunez with half an hour remaining at the Estadio da Luz.

Handed the captain’s armband by Jan Vertonghen as he entered the game, Yaremchuk’s introduction was greeted with a huge ovation from supporters – many of which holding aloft Ukrainian flags. Clearly touched by the show of solidarity, the striker struggled and ultimately failed to fight back the tears.

It was one of several moving moments from across the football world over the course of the weekend, where football supporters and players voiced their opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Saturday, two of Yeramchuk’s international teammates Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko shared a moving embrace before Manchester City’s Premier League meeting with Everton at Goodison Park. As with Yeramchuk, both players shed tears at the show of support from those in the stadium.

Elsewhere in football, several national football associations, including the English FA, have made it know that they will refuse to play against Russia for the foreseeable future in response to the ongoing invasion.

Poland, who are scheduled to face Russia in a World Cup play-off, were one of the first to state that they would not play against the country, with players releasing a joint-statement confirming their decision.

FIFA have since announced that Russia will be banned from playing matches at home, without spectators and without their national anthem or flag. The country will also have to play under the name ‘Football Union of Russia’ and not as ‘Russia’.

Despite the world governing body announcing such measures, many in the football world claim they do not go far enough.

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