WARSAW (AP) – Polish captain Robert Lewandowski doubled down on his support for Ukraine, promising on Tuesday that he would wear an armband in the blue and yellow colors of the country’s flag at the World Cup in November.
Lewandowski protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine just days after it began in February. He urged Poland to boycott playing Russia in a World Cup qualifying match.
The two-time winner of the FIFA Footballer of the Year award received the emblem from the famous Ukrainian footballer Andrey Shevchenko at the National Stadium of Poland in Warsaw.
“Thanks Andrey. Glad to meet you!” Lewandowski wrote on his Instagram account. “It will be an honor to wear this captain’s armband in the colors of Ukraine at the World Cup.”
The scorer’s position was crucial to prevent Poland from playing Russia in the semi-finals of the European play-offs for the World Cup on March 24 in Warsaw.
“We can’t pretend that nothing is happening,” Lewandowski said at the time, two days before FIFA and UEFA banned Russian teams from international competition – essentially banning Russia from the World Cup. Doing.
After Poland qualified for the World Cup in Qatar, Ukraine lost to Wales in the final round of the play-offs in June.
Poland will take on Argentina, Mexico and Saudi Arabia in Group C of the World Cup to be played from November 20 to December 18.
The football relationship between Poland and Ukraine, which shared space for the 2012 European Championship, allowed the Ukraine national team and clubs to play “home” in international competitions in Polish stadiums this season.
Ukraine will fulfill its UEFA Nations League commitments in Poland next week and host Scotland in Krakow.
2004 Ballon d’Or winner Shevchenko, while in Milan, coached the Euro 2020 quarter-finals Ukraine team.