Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian players have appealed for help following Russia’s attack on Ukraine on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced martial law across the country on Thursday and the country’s top tier league has been postponed as Russian forces launched a military assault.
Thirteen Brazilian players from Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv striker Vitinho have sought refuge with their families in a hotel in the country’s capital Kyiv.
« Here we are all gathered, Dynamo and Shakhtar players, with our families, staying here at the hotel because of the situation, » Shakhtar defender Marlon Santos said in a video which shows all the players with their families gathered.
« We are here asking for your help, due to the lack of conditions in the city, closed borders, closed airspace. There’s no way we can get out. We ask a lot of support from the government of Brazil, which can help us. «
One of the wives of the players added: « We women are with our children and feeling a little abandoned. We don’t know what to do, nothing [information] comes to us. We make an appeal to you, even for the sake of the children. Each one left the house running to come to the hotel. »
There are 35 Brazilian soccer players competing in Ukraine.
Russian troops launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to « consequences you have never seen. »
World leaders decried Russia’s actions, and sources have told ESPN that UEFA are set to strip Saint Petersburg of the hosting rights for 2022 Champions League final.