Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund have raised 400,000 euros (about 426,000 dollars or N215 million) for Ukraine from a match played on Tuesday against the country’s top club Dynamo Kiev.
Some 35,000 fans attended the game which Dynamo Kiev won 3-2.
All match proceeds were going to victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as Borussia Dortmund players, including superstars like Erling Haaland.
“It is about sending a signal, a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, earning a bit of money so that we can do one or the other humanitarian action.
“And then, it is also a sign against this despicable war of aggression,” Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke said.
Wladimir Klitschko, the former boxing world champion and brother of Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko, thanked Borussia Dortmund and their fans in a video message before kick-off.
“You are showing that we are not forgotten. You are showing that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin won’t win this war,” Klitschko said.
Sixteen-year-old Ivan Matviichuk, an under-17 player from the other Ukrainian top club Shakhtar Donetsk who fled Ukraine with his mother and grandfather, helped announce the starting line-ups.
Also, 13-year old Niikita Semenov from Dynamo Kiev, who lives in an SOS childrens’ village in Berlin, conducted the kick-off.
The match was officiated by Ukraine’s Denys Shurman in the first half and German Patrick Ittrich after the break.
Young Ukrainian Alan Aussi, who lives at the home of a Borussia Dortmund staff member and trains with their under-23 team, played as a guest for the Germans.
The result was secondary but the game also gave Dynamo Kiev’s many Ukraine internationals some action ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifiers in June.
Dynamo Kiev have played similar fund-raisers in Warsaw, Istanbul and Cluj, and Shakhtar Donetsk have also been involved in several such games.
The Kiev team is keeping fit in Romania, the home country of their coach Mircea Lucesu.