A sign for peace
Applause for the guests, cheering even when the opponents score: The game between BVB and Dynamo Kyiv is different than normal football evenings. 35,000 spectators express their solidarity with Ukraine – and ensure lavish donations.
Dhe goals were just a side issue, the sporting events on the pitch no longer as an entertaining side program. In the game between Borussia Dortmund and Dynamo Kyiv, stars like Erling Haaland and Marco Reus slipped into an unfamiliar role – as ambassadors for peace. Around 35,000 spectators gave BVB an income of 400,000 euros, which is intended to benefit the victims of the Russian attack on Ukraine. After similar games by the 16-time Ukrainian champions from Kyiv in Warsaw, Istanbul and Cluj, the Bundesliga club probably contributed to the highest revenue from this mission to date.
The atmosphere in the stadium affected everyone involved and differed fundamentally from that in competitive games. Contrary to other customs, the BVB fans received the away team with the same warm applause as the home team. Dynamo chants even from the Dortmund south stand documented the friendly character of the game.
Video message from Kyiv
Visiting goals by Vitaliy Buyalskiy (9th minute) and Vladyslav Vanat (11th/35th) to make it 3-2 (3-1) for Dynamo Kyiv were cheered on by the fans of both teams. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (4th) and Tom Rothe (65th) contributed the goals for BVB.
At least as much attention as the professionals was given to other performers from distant Kyiv or in the stadium. In a video message a few minutes before kick-off, Wladimir Klitschko, former boxing world champion and brother of Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko, thanked BVB and the fans: “You show that we will not be forgotten. You show that Vladimir Putin will never win this war.”
16-year-old Ivan Matviichuk, who had fled Ukraine with his mother and grandfather and had last played in Shakhtar Donetsk’s U17s, supported stadium announcer Norbert Dickel in announcing the starting line-ups. Niikita Semenow, three years his junior from the Dynamo Kyiv Academy and currently living in the Berlin SOS Children’s Village, initiated the game.
“Sign of solidarity with Ukraine”
Not only the players, but also the referees set a sign for peace. The Ukrainian Denys Shurman officiated the first half of the game, the Bundesliga referee Patrick Ittrich took over after the break. With Alan Aussi, a young Ukrainian professional was used as a guest player in the BVB team, who found shelter with a club employee and is currently training with the Revierclub’s U23 team.
“It’s about making a mark. A sign of solidarity with Ukraine, maybe earning a bit of money so that we can do one or the other humanitarian action. And then also a sign against this despicable war of aggression,” BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke told ZDF.
For the team from Kyiv, which has been keeping fit near Bucharest since the beginning of the war on the initiative of its Romanian coach Mircea Lucesu, the performance in Dortmund was also a sporting endurance test, despite all the charitable reasons. After all, eleven professionals are in the Ukrainian national team for the upcoming World Cup qualification in June. Tests like the one against BVB are therefore an opportunity to gain match practice.