On Tuesday, Robert Lewandowski expressed his support for Ukraine by pledging to wear an armband with the nation’s blue-and-yellow flag colors to the World Cup in November. Lewandowski once again displayed his true class before the start of the World Cup.
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Within days of it beginning in February, Lewandowski first expressed his opposition to Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine. He urged Poland to abstain from taking on Russia in a World Cup qualifying match. At Poland’s national stadium in Warsaw, the two-time FIFA world player of the year Andriy Shevchenko presented the award to the player.
“Thank you, Andriy. It was a pleasure to meet you!” Lewandowski sent a message on his Instagram page. “It will be an honor for me to carry this captain’s armband in the colors of Ukraine to the World Cup.”
Poland was not set to meet Russia in a World Cup qualification playoff semifinal on March 24 in Warsaw as a result of the star forward’s vocal stance. Two days prior to FIFA and UEFA banning Russian teams from international events, which effectively removed Russia from the World Cup, Lewandowski said, “We can’t pretend that nothing is happening,”
Ukraine fell to Wales in a playoff final that was postponed until June to enable the team prepare while the war that shut down domestic soccer was going on. Poland had gone through the playoffs to the World Cup in Qatar.
At the competition from November 20 to December 18, Poland will compete in Group C alongside Argentina, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
The national and club teams of Ukraine, who co-hosted the 2012 European Championship, have played “home” matches in international competitions at Polish stadiums this season thanks to the strong football ties between Poland and the two countries.
The final match of Ukraine’s UEFA Nations League campaign in Poland will be against Scotland in Krakow the following week. UEFA also confirmed on Tuesday that Russia will not be permitted to compete in the 2024 European Championship.