Zinchenko explains how football can help his country – Let’s get behind Game4Ukraine

I have written before; football is a beautiful game but it’s just that ……a game. by Dan Smith

Many Gooners will still be heartbroken how we threw away the title, others will ask ‘what if’.

We have a section of our fanbase who can’t cope with anything negative being said about the Arsenal.

Unless you write that we are the best club in the world, Arteta is one of the best managers in the universe and Eddie Nketiah is better than Mbappe, then some can’t handle it.

Very few players understand the sport isn’t life and death more than Oleksandr Zinchenko.

As a professional, of course he’s disappointed not to add to his Premiership collection since moving to North London. Yet Arsenal can try again. Some in Ukraine can’t.

Football has just taken a pause before we do it all again in England. It’s a cycle that never really stops.
For many, in our defender’s country there is no tomorrow, zero second chances. He knows people who truly have lost things that matter.

When he speaks you realise how trivial the game can be.

The 26-year-old was speaking to Piers Morgan to advertise a friendly at Stamford Bridge on August 5th, to raise money to rebuild schools damaged by the Invasion by Russia.


Here are key discussion points when our defender was interviewed on Piers Morgan Uncensored

He Would Fight for Ukraine
Scroll down to the comments on YouTube and some immediately point to the privileged life that the full back lives, and that if he cared that much about his nation he would be on the front line with his troops.

The irony being those posting that probably haven’t got the gumption to have conflict away from a computer screen, yet alone he brave enough to fight in a war.

Fortunately, most of us will never have to be in a position where we have to make that choice.

Just because a Ukrainian is rich does not mean they care any less about their country, and they shouldn’t have to go to a war untrained just to prove a point. Thankfully we are not in that position yet, but if it came to that, Zinchenko says every one of his people are prepared to fight till the end rather than give up.

A nationwide defiance that Russia didn’t consider and that has won the hearts of so many.

Players playing abroad had a consultation on international duty. How could they help in the best possible way? Return home or use their wealth to raise money through charities and their platforms to spread a message around the world?

What do those hiding behind their computers do to influence change?

Not as much as Zinchenko.

‘Not a Conflict …….it’s a War.
A 17-year-old Zinchenko was in Ukraine when Russia occupied Donbass and Kremer without any resistance. To this day he can’t comprehend some of the reasoning behind Russia’s unlawful crimes.

Since his wife woke him up in tears in 2022, he watches every minute, every day of reports of murders, rapes, schools destroyed, hospitals targeted, etc. He can’t answer what any of this is meant to achieve outside of pure evil.

He’s well aware he’s fortunate to have a life where he can keep his family at a safe distance in the UK. About to become a father for the second time, his young children won’t have to witness the scenes that other Ukrainian kids have done.

As the player points out though, everyone can remember their home and the details we take for granted …. the corner shop, the parks, the landmarks …. all gone ….and for what?

‘Ukraine The Shield’
Zinchenko doesn’t pretend to understand all the politics behind Russia’s motives. He simply knows it’s not legal and if Putin (he won’t call him by his name) is able to overtake one part of the world, what’s stopping him circling another country on the map? If the Russian President feels entitled to land, what’s stopping him trying elsewhere?

So, while in the short-term Ukraine has their shield, long term they are protecting the rest of Europe. Maybe this puts off a future dictator from trying the same? If Russia succeed, it would be foolish and arrogant to think they stop there.

What does Ukraine currently look like?
After the end of the season our player returned to his homeland, something he didn’t have to do, putting himself in danger. The saddest part is people he knows have almost become used to day day life of living under constant threat. So many proud people refuse to leave out of defiance.

Zinchenko’s parents are two of them, but as long as they listen to sirens and hide under bunkers, they should be okay. Of course, that shouldn’t be a quality of life anyone has to endure.

Out of defiance football has resumed. Understandably without any crowds, while some games take hours to complete due to teams having to go under the bunker.

Won’t Shake a Russian Players Hand
Due to the war in Donbass, Zinchenko moved to Russia at the age of 19 and played in their Premier League. While grateful to Ufa for the opportunity, it’s impossible for the player to maintain a relationship with any ex Russian teammates or peers. He no longer considers them friends or brothers.

While not all Russians he has met have said anything abusive, it’s what they don’t say that Zinchenko can’t comprehend.
He feels that many Russian sports men, women and celebs in general, have not used their large social media platforms to condemn the war and help spread a message.

He has written to one very famous Russian sports person asking why after months and with millions of followers, he hasn’t once said what Russia is doing is wrong?

He got no reply.

Piers Morgan does try to offer some reasons behind Russians failing to condemn the war. While it’s never been publicly admitted, it’s believed that you can go to jail (or worse) for being anti Putin or Russia.

It’s believed that’s what happened to an ex-footballer who used social media to question his country’s behaviour. An exception to the rule, he’s now just vanished.

Zinchenko claims to have lost hope in Russian civilians to do the right thing.

A country who used to refer to Ukraine as their brothers, he can’t understand how they haven’t spoken up. He maintains if Ukraine had done something wrong, he would have used his platform to say Ukraine were wrong.

While it’s questionable how much free speech your afforded in Russia right now, our player is only asking for the courage his people are expected to utilise daily.

Again, it’s not just an attack on Ukraine, the whole of the world should be concerned that a president has acted in this way.

Russians Should be banned from Wimbledon.
Zinchenko believes that any Russian or Belarus players should be banned from participating at Wimbledon. He maintains these are other sports men and women who could been brave enough to use their large platforms to help spread the message, but again choose to stay quiet.

His argument is if most Russians are watching propaganda TV, what a difference it could make if a Russian celebrity with a massive following could change the narrative.

President Zelenskyy
The war seems to have made Ukrainians even prouder of their homeland, and more resistance to stay, even if there is an option to leave. One of them was their president Zelenskyy who was told by American intelligence he was Russia’s first target and his family is under threat.

The US offered a safe route out of the country but the 45 year-old has always valiantly declared his intention to stay with his people.

His leadership and bravery has made him admired around the world, and for better or worse he’s become a name history book will recall with respect. Not bad for a man who a few years ago was a TV personality.

He met Zinchenko recently to hear about the charity match and how the funds raised could help.

It’s estimated that 800 schools have been damaged by the Invasion with only 240 able to rebuild.

Ultimately the point of this fixture on August 5th is to raise as much money as possible. Yet Zinchenko is also aware this is a chance to share a message around the world.

Already some of the biggest names in football’s history have been confirmed for the occasion, while celebs from other genres might also get a run out.

As was the theme of the interview, the full back is aware that those with a large following on social media have a chance to reach out to millions of people.

He maintains that even if Russian civilians are being brainwashed by their governments propaganda the more, they see and hear the rest of the world backing Ukraine, the more they will question themselves.

This might lead to our left back missing the Community Shield, but it’s more than worth it!

Tickets are on sale. The game will also be broadcast on Sky with the chance to donate.



Tags Oleksandr Zinchenko


  1. Nice Article. I am sure he is donating a huge portion of his wages to the much needed support. Talking about money, why did Arsenal miss out on the clause in MacAllistairs contract of only £35 million. Now they are going to miss out on the clause in world class defender Kim Min-iae, which is only £54 million. Edu, why are you not placing a bid for these world class players, that you can get for half price? At least bid £100 million for Victor Osimhen rather than the overpriced Rice!

    1. On no, I have just heard, Man United have made a bid for Word Class defender Kim Min-a iae, ranked better than Saliba. They have activated his release clause of just £54 million. Wake-up Arsenal, stop going after over priced players, you will have no money left to strengthen other key areas.

    2. @daveg,,,,, it’s early bird catches the worm. You never really hear of Liverpool’s transfer dealings until they are all signed and sealed. That’s how you do good transfer dealings, you go under the radar. Liverpool had this one wrapped up two weeks ago

  2. I watched his highlights on Arsenal’s YouTube channel last week and realized that his abilities in tight spaces are top-notch

    He did make many mistakes and gave the ball away several times, but there is no other Gunner who can constantly possess the ball so close to the opponents in that left midfield area

  3. Wow!! Im so exhausted now after reading this article, (slash), biography. Its so long.

    On serious note though well done to Admin Pat for turning our focus away frm soccer sometimes. By giving in depth analysis & info about players personal lives makes you appreciate them more.

    Won’t comment on the war though as my standing could be labelled as TERORRISM & i don’t want NATO or its supporters to bombard me with questions.


  4. It’s a tough one, but for me, I take a neutral stance on this war.

    Obviously we must do what we can to help survivors as they are the real victims, but this is for both sets of people – Russians and Ukrainians.

    (Rest of comment deleted by ADMIN)

    1. We are not here to dicuss the rights and wrongs of the actual war, we are talking about how Football can help makes things better for the victims…..

      1. I understand that, I was just pointing out this ridiculous narrative in the media that its all Russia’s fault, when in reality, there’s at least four main players in this war.

        Yet when do we hear anything about Russian victims? No one wants to raise awareness and funds for them? It’s really sad.

        The whole article is pro Ukraine, so dispite what you say, you ARE discussing the rights and wrongs of the war. Secondly, whatever the content of an article, did you not think people would comment on it? So you censoring my speech makes no sense based on your own rules.

        For future reference, if you’re going to have an article not solely on football, then just disable the comments – this saves you having to censor. Or just have articles only on football.

          1. True, but what about NATO and the U.S. encroachment and provocation, and Ukraine’s actions against Ukrainians, and Russians in the Donbas region, amongst others?

            This isn’t good vs evil as the media make us believe, its evil vs evil. People don’t know how bad things have been in Ukraine, and the killings they did pre war because the legacy media will not touch it.

            And finally, anything Putin does and he’s a monster, yet Biden destroys Nord stream pipeline, which is a massive act of economic terrorism against the people of Europe, yet no one says anything? No wait, they do, it was Putin! Apparently Putin is doing his upmost to destroy his own infrastructure.

            Blaire, Bush, Obama kill thousands, destroy the lives of millions, and occupy countries for decades, on the back of lies, and its all good. Putin does the same, on a much smaller scale as well, and he’s a war criminal.

            The whole thing is horrible, and I’m not sticking up for Putin, and merely pointing out this isn’t black and white, and the complete hypocrisy from West is staggering.

          1. People can raise as much money as they like, but until Russia pulls out of Ukraine there will be sadly even more victims.

    1. If an Arsenal player was planning.a friendly to raise money for Palestine I would
      I can’t control the news lol

      1. We don’t have any players from those countries you mentioned. If we did I dare say they would be saying the same as Zinchenko.

    2. Slye, if anything was written about the plight of the Palestinians the writer would be accused of antisemitism.

    3. I did actually write an article in defence of Moh off AFV that he shouldn’t have been kicked off for wear a Palestine badge

  5. It is said people get the government they deserves.

    There can be no justification in , invading a sovereign country killing women and children and destroying their infrastructure.

    Russians may have miscalculated and cause huge suffering as a result, but my prayers are with Ukrainian people.

  6. @Admin Pat, I wrote a reply to Jen today but it hasn’t appeared. Is there a reason why ?

  7. Hypocrites , When Ozil talked about the Uyghur’s where was this energy, We have Arsenal fans in Libya , Iraq, Sudan and Somalia. Where was this energy for their ongoing crisis . I grew up knowing football to be apolitical .According to Zinchenko he wont want to be in the presence of Hleb and Asharvin. Football is meant to bring people together not divide people.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors