Russian football captain Artem Dzyuba breaks his silence on players ban

Artem Dzyuba, Russia’s captain, replies to Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko’s disapproval of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a harsh Instagram post this week, Mykolenko attacked Dzyuba, voicing his disgust with the Russian players’ lack of response and hinting that they would “never be forgiven” for keeping quiet on the war.

Dzyuba has recently turned to Instagram to voice his opposition to war and intolerance, stating that “war is terrible” and that sport should be completely separated from politics. Oleksandr Zinchenko, a Ukrainian defender for Manchester City, has answered the Russian striker’s comments by adding that “evil should be punished on all platforms.”

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Dzyuba wrote on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the first time since it erupted on Thursday in a long message on his official Instagram account. He expressed, “I am against any war. War is a frightful thing. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which is gaining some sort of devastating scale every day. I am against discrimination based on nationality.”

Russia was recently blacklisted from all games by FIFA and UEFA, one of many sporting penalties enforced on the country.

Russian and Belarusian licensed drivers are also barred from racing in the UK  by Motorsport UK, whilst International Paralympic Committee declared on Thursday that athletes from Russia and Belarus will not be eligible to join in the upcoming Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, which commence on Saturday.

After initially deciding that participants from Russia and Belarus would perform under the Paralympic flag but would be barred from the medal table, the IPC modified its verdict.

Their move coincides with the World Athletics Council’s decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian competitors from World Athletics Series events, as well as the International Olympic Committee’s recent demand for all sports to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from performing internationally.