Ukrainian refugee will train with Man City until end of the season
Manchester City have opened their doors to a Ukrainian footballer who has fled from a Russian club and will train with Pep Guardiola’s side until the end of the season
Image: PA Wire)
Manchester City have welcomed Ukrainian refugee Andrii Kravchuk to train with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League side until the end of the season.
Kravchuk, a friend and former team-mate of City’s Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko from when they were youth team players together, fled to Manchester after terminating his contract with Russian side Torpedo Moscow.
After learning of Kravchuk’s plight through Zinchenko, City have offered the 23-year-old the chance to maintain his fitness and development by training at City Football Academy. After his first training session with City’s Under-23s, Kravchuk said: “I am so grateful to Manchester City for giving me this chance to train with them.
“The past few weeks and months have been so difficult, but to be back on the pitch means so much to me.” Zinchenko met Kravchuk at Shakhtar Donetsk’s academy when the pair were 13 and 11 respectively and dreaming of careers in professional football.
After being reunited with Kravchuk, Zinchenko said: “While I wish the circumstances were very different, it has been good to be back with Andrii. I know how much football means to him, and how it can help us during these difficult times. I would like to thank my club for giving him the opportunity to train with us.”
City academy director Jason Wilcox said: “Although it’s only a small gesture, we’re pleased to have been able to support Andrii. By training with our Under-23s, he can maintain his fitness and practice his profession at City Football Academy while continuing to develop as a player.”
Kravchuck was on pre-season training in Turkey when his mother informed him Russia had started bombing his native Ukraine. His family remains in Kyiv, with his brother fighting in the country’s armed forces. After approval from the Home Office, FA and Premier League, Kravcuk will train with City’s Elite Development Squad for the remainder of the season.
Guardiola has strongly voiced his opinion on the war in Ukraine. The City boss said last month: “The thing is that countries are being destroyed because one person has decided that innocent people must be annihilated. The world has stopped, people are silent, not ordinary people because everyone is against it. But the world’s governments who need to make a decision or say that this shouldn’t happen.”