The sports world is also reacting to the situation in Ukraine. Concerned about his Ukrainian grandmother, table tennis star Dimitry Ovtcharov did not focus on sports, but on rescuing his grandmother. All reports in the ticker at FOCUS Online.
Tuesday, April 26, 8:13 a.m .: After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German national table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov temporarily neglected his sport out of concern for his grandmother. “In the beginning I didn’t even bother with table tennis, I just thought about how I can bring my grandmother from Kyiv,” said the Olympic bronze medalist in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Tuesday).
It took a long time before they were able to bring the 85-year-old grandmother from her apartment to Germany, reported the table tennis national player. “Friends spontaneously took her in the car, she only had her purse and her passport with her,” said Ovtcharov.
Only then did he decide, together with his father Mikhail, a former table tennis player in the Soviet Union, “that it is impossible to continue playing for Orenburg.” The two-time European champion then announced via Instagram in mid-April that he was leaving the Russian top club Fakel Orenburg. “But I made a conscious decision not to publish the post until a few weeks later, because it was more important to help my grandmother and the people and to clarify a few things for me,” said Ovtcharov.
The Kyiv-born seventh in the world rankings returns to the German Bundesliga as part of a spectacular project. Together with the Japanese child prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto, the Swedish World Cup runner-up Truls Möregardh and the world ranking sixth Lin Yun-Ju from Taiwan, Ovtcharov will play for the club TTC Neu-Ulm, which was only founded in 2019, in the next Bundesliga and Champions League season to play.
Monday, April 25, 6:15 p.m .: The swimming world association Fina has started an investigation into the start of the currently suspended Russian Olympic champion Yevgeny Rylow at national championships. The 25-year-old is currently banned from competing for nine months because of his participation in a pro-war rally.
“Fina is aware that Mr Rylow took part in the Russian championships last weekend and has launched an investigation into whether sanctions or Fina rules were broken,” the world association told the AP news agency on Monday. The result of the investigation should be published in due course.
Rylov was banned for his presence and behavior at an event at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Russian President Vladimir Putin also attended the event. Putin wants to meet with Olympic participants on Tuesday.
Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov told Russian broadcaster Match TV that the national championships would not count as Fina competitions. Rylow won gold in both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
Tuesday, April 19, 3:10 p.m .: The former Bayern professional and Ukrainian national player Anatoly Tymoshtschuk is an assistant coach at the Russian first division club Zenit St. Petersburg and he does not want to change that despite Russia’s war of aggression on his home country. For this reason, he was criticized right from the start of the invasion.
The 32-year-old was called by one of his former international team-mates – West Ham star Andriy Jarmolenko. During the phone call, there was a heated argument in which the two professionals threw wild insults at each other. In an interview with Russian blogger Yevgeny Savin, Yarmolenko recounted the conversation: “I told him that he was a role model for me, but now he doesn’t exist for me anymore. He then said: ‘Piss off’. I replied the same back and that was it.”
The argument was apparently triggered by a message from Jarmolenko, as he says himself. When asked: “How do you sleep at night?” Tymoschtschuk is said to have answered: “Not as good as you.” Then the phone call should have taken place.
Saturday, April 16, 2:05 p.m.: Switzerland is committed to the exclusion of officials from Russia and Belarus from top positions in international sports associations. This emerges from a letter from Sports and Defense Minister Viola Amherd to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Federal Office of Sport confirmed the letter, which was first reported by the newspapers of the Swiss Tamedia Group on Saturday.
In view of the situation in Ukraine, it is no longer sufficient to exclude athletes from the two countries from competitions abroad, the letter says.
Numerous top associations are based in Switzerland, including the IOC, the football associations FIFA and UEFA, the European Athletics Federation, the World Basketball Federation, the international equestrian, fencing and swimming associations and many others. The clubs are usually privately organized. The Swiss government believes that the IOC can put pressure on the associations, for example by threatening to exclude them from the Olympic family, as the spokesman for the Federal Office for Sport said. The IOC was asked to comment.
Friday, April 8, 4:30 p.m.: Borussia Dortmund is playing a benefit game in aid of Ukraine, which has been hit by the Russian war of aggression. As the Bundesliga club announced on Friday, coach Marco Rose’s team will play against Ukrainian top club Dynamo Kyiv on April 26 at their home Signal Iduna Park.
“Football is the best thing in the world. But there are things that are so much more important. Peace, Health, Homeland, Education. In the middle of Europe, all this is no longer a matter of course. And that hurts a lot. We stand by the side of the Ukrainians,” said Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke.
According to BVB, the net proceeds from the game, which takes place just three days after the top game against FC Bayern, will go to an organization “that we are currently carefully selecting and that ensures that Ukrainians in need are helped immediately”. “We are happy about every single football fan, no matter what color they wear, and every single person who buys a ticket to help the Ukrainians who have been so badly hit by the war,” commented coach Rose.
Dortmund have invited the team and the coaching and support staff of the Ukrainian club to Dortmund. BVB wants to inform about the kick-off time after consultation with Uefa.
Tuesday, April 5, 11:24 a.m .: The Russian television station “MatchTV” broadcast BVB’s Bundesliga game against RB Leipzig on Saturday – but only part of the game. Because shortly before the end of the first half, the transmission stopped abruptly. The reason for the censorship of the broadcast was pro-Ukrainian embassies in Signal Iduna Park. For example, the call “Stop the war” and the hashtag “StandWithUkraine” could be read on the large display board.
Commentator for the Russian channel Igor Kytmanov said: “Unfortunately, we have to cancel the broadcast for reasons beyond our control. The general rule is that football and politics should be considered separately, but this rule does not always apply in the Bundesliga respected.”
This decision will probably have consequences. The DFL had already announced in early March that it would donate one million euros to Ukraine. All income from the TV contract with Russia should flow into the donation. This was deliberately not terminated so that the “anti-war calls and appeals for peace from the German stadiums would continue to reach the Russian population,” said the DFL. In this context, it was made clear: If the “TV base signal were repeatedly censored, this would result in an extraordinary termination by the DFL.”
Monday, April 4th, 2:40 p.m.: The Ukrainian biathlete Dmytro Pidrutschnji sharply criticized France’s star Martin Fourcade (33) and Simon Fourcade (37) after an interview with the older of the two brothers. “Martin and Simon, go to hell. I hope that your children will never feel the pain experienced by Ukrainian children,” Pidruchnyi wrote on Instagram, among others.
Pidrichnyi, who, like other athletes in his home country, is fighting in the army against the Russian invaders, was outraged by statements by Simon Fourcade on the Russian TV station Match. There he described the sporting exclusion of the Russians as a “big mistake”. In addition, the head coach of the French biathlon juniors had cut up a French flag at the Junior World Championships in Soldier Hollow (USA), which ended on Sunday, in protest against the Russian flag ban and glued it to the Russians’ wax booth, which was only used at the World Championships found out about their starting ban.
“I’m sorry I voted for Martin on the NOC committee and that such great athletes turned out to be crappy people,” wrote the 30-year-old Pidrushnyi. The five-time Olympic gold medalist, who was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission at the Beijing Winter Olympics, wrote in response on Instagram: “I understand your anger and sadness but do not allow you to offend anyone for disagreeing with what his is brother said! In case you forgot, my name is Martin and I haven’t done an interview lately!”
Simon Fourcade also commented on social media, where he received many hateful comments: “I do not support war and I do not support the Russian government!” At the same time, he maintains that the exclusion of Russian athletes is “completely counterproductive and a great hypocrisy”. may be.
Friday, April 1st, 10:31 a.m.: Franz Beckenbauer is very concerned about the war in Ukraine. “These pictures and messages that are reaching us from Ukraine are just terrible. Many people die, are injured or have to flee traumatized – from their homeland,” said the honorary captain of the German national soccer team in an interview with the club magazine “51”. “Fortunately, solidarity with these people in the western world is very high, and if many people help, we will manage to alleviate the unimaginable suffering of the refugees, at least as best we can.”
In May, the Franz-Beckenbauer-Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary. The institution also wants to help Ukrainians. “The foundation will help these people in need to the best of its ability, especially people with disabilities or sick people in individual cases,” said the world champion as a player in 1974 and coach in 1990.
Beckenbauer tries to keep a positive view of the world. “In view of the bad news from all over the world and especially now from Ukraine, one could easily get the feeling that the individual is not achieving anything. We also want to counteract this resignation with the foundation: Everyone can do good – everyone within the scope of their possibilities,” said Beckenbauer. “I don’t want to imagine a world of the despondent, in which nothing progresses because everyone tells themselves that nothing can be achieved. I myself have seen often enough in my life what can be achieved when you are passionate about your goals.”
You can read more reports from the sports world about the Ukraine war on the following pages.