Dortmund (dpa) – For the professionals from Dynamo Kyiv it is a ray of hope in cloudy days, for Borussia Dortmund it is an act of solidarity. In the charity game between the two teams on April 26 (6 p.m./ZDF) in Dortmund, the sporting events on the pitch play only a minor role.
The opportunity to offer a change to his professionals who fled to Romania to escape the war in Ukraine arouses more emotions in Mircea Lucescu than any Champions League game. “They usually have sad faces. But we try to brighten them up a little with games like this and with training,” said the Dynamo coach with anticipation.
In a fatherly manner, the 76-year-old football teacher took care of the team. It was thanks to the initiative of the former Romanian national player that she was able to move into quarters in Romania’s national football center near Bucharest in the first few days after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. “There was no way I could have left the players alone in this difficult situation when the invasion began,” Lucescu told ZDF.
Collect donations for war victims
With games like the recent ones against Legia Warsaw, Galatasaray Istanbul and CFR Cluj or now against BVB, the 16-time Ukrainian and 13-time Soviet champions want to collect donations for the victims of the war. Shakhtar Donetsk, the second well-known club in the country, is currently on a similar charity mission. BVB’s spontaneous willingness left an impression on Lucescu: “It’s great from Dortmund. They were the first to accept immediately and bindingly.”
Wladimir Klitschko, former boxing world champion and brother of Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko, tried to boost ticket sales with a video message to BVB fans: “My request: buy the tickets, go to the stadium. Help Ukraine.” The appeal from Kyiv and Dortmund’s advertising for the game are having an effect. A day before kick-off, around 25,000 tickets had already been sold.
The BVB coach is hoping for a healthy income
Alain Aussi is particularly concerned about the forthcoming visit from his compatriots. The 20-year-old defender, who was loaned to Veres Rivne by Dynamo Kyiv, fled to Germany in the first days of the war, found shelter with a BVB employee and is currently keeping fit in the U23 team of the Bundesliga second team. But the young professional finds it difficult to “concentrate on football” on days like these. The worries are too great. “Two of my best friends are on the front lines. I try to contact them every day if they are still alive. Every day can be the last,” said Aussi.
In the game against Kyiv he should be used as a guest player for BVB. “It’s a special motivation for me to wear a Borussia Dortmund jersey,” he commented. The game could help put the worries aside, at least for a short time: “I want to help my country in this way. I’m very grateful to the club and the city.”
The Dortmund pros are happy to accept the additional burden in the game against Kyiv just a few days after the 1: 3 in the Bundesliga top game at FC Bayern. “Simply because we all sympathize and are all very shocked. Can’t understand what war means and what’s happening there in Ukraine at the moment – a humanitarian catastrophe,” commented Marco Rose. The BVB coach is hoping for plenty of income: “We want to set an example with the people. We can’t do more, but we really, really like to do it.”