Scotland v Ukraine: Oleksandr Petrakov repeats ‘weapon’ vow despite fine over Russia comments
Ukraine head coach Oleksandr Petrakov has stood by his comments about being prepared to take up arms against Russia – despite being fined by Uefa.
The sanction against the 65-year-old came ahead of his team’s Nations League visit to Scotland on Wednesday.
He does not know the scale of punishment and the Ukrainian Association of Football has vowed to appeal and pay on his behalf if needed.
“I will say again whatever I said before,” Petrakov said.
He had said that “if they come to Kyiv, I will pick up a weapon and defend my city. I am 64, but I felt it was normal to do this. I think I could take two or three enemies out”.
The Russian Football Union had called for him to be banned from football for his initial comments.
“This is clearly the Russian football federation and their legal team – whatever they are doing is their business,” Petrakov said. “I will say it again and I stand by my words.”
Writing earlier on Facebook, UAF president Andriy Pavelko, who is a member of Uefa’s executive committee, said the “Russian hysterics” and “ill-mannered complaint” about Petrakov were “not worth the slightest attention”.
He said it would not distract the coach and his players from preparing for an important match at Hampden.
Russia were told on Tuesday they would not be included in next month’s draw for the Euro 2024 qualifiers, news that was welcomed by Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko.
“My thoughts are quite simple,” said the former West Ham United winger, who now plays in the United Arab Emirates for Al Ain. “Russian football, Russian sport, should be totally isolated.
“A country that kills Ukrainians, kills Ukrainian children. We cannot just talk about sport when something that terrible is happening.
“All Ukrainian players want Russia to be isolated on every level. We cannot allow Russia to take part in any competition while its army are killing the civilian population in Ukraine.”
Yarmolenko scored in Ukraine’s 3-1 World Cup play-off win at Hampden in June and vowed “to bring joy to his embattled people” on Wednesday. – bbc.com