Ukraine crisis: Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko embrace as football shows support

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With their homeland Ukraine still under attack by Russia, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko embraced prior to Saturday’s Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City.

The Ukrainian internationals spoke briefly and hugged with City defender, Zinchenko, who joined a vigil outside Manchester’s Central Library on  Thursday evening, visibly upset.

Everton supporters held a banner with the words “We stand with Ukraine”, while the club’s players walked out with the Ukrainian flag draped over them.

The City players lined up for the match wearing t-shirts displaying the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine and the message “No war”.

With football continuing across Europe there were further shows of support for Ukraine from clubs, players and fans.

On the support of the crowd for the messages portrayed by the players, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said: “What a moment. Thank you so much for all the people. Zinchenko was very pleased. He was warming up. It means [a lot] what the people want to say.

“That is why thank you so much for reaction. It was so emotional.”

Everton boss Frank Lampard added: “The power of sport, we’ve seen in the last few days in many ways.

“I know how much heart is in this club from owner, to chairman, to fans, to players and we wanted to show that. We have a player with Vitaliy on our side and Zinchenko on their side, and our fans and their fans [came] together

“That is the unity of sport and a lot of people on the outside could learn from that as well.”

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