Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko has hit out at Russia captain Artem Dzyuba and his international team-mates for their silence over the invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukraine defender, who joined Everton from Dynamo Kyiv in January, embraced his international colleague Oleksandr Zinchenko before Manchester City’s clash with the Toffees at the weekend as the attention of the football world focused on the plight of their country.
But, while support for Ukraine has been widespread, Cherkasy-born Mykolenko is furious that has not extended to players from the Russia football team.
In a post full of expletives on Instagram in his native language, the 22-year-old called out Dzyuba and said the players would “never be forgiven” for their actions.
The post on his Instagram story said: “Whilst you b***h and your c**p footballers are silent, @artem.dzyuba, civilians are being killed in Ukraine. You and most importantly your children will be locked in your s***hole for your whole life. And I am sincerely happy for it. You will never be forgiven.”
Mykolenko’s post came the day after FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia from all competitions, just weeks before they were due to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final.
Everton urged to cut ties with Usmanov
Alisher Usmanov – who has sponsorship links to Everton – has had his assets frozen as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union, while Labour MP Chris Bryant has urged the club to cut ties with the billionaire.
Uzbek-born Usmanov is not officially involved with Everton, but his USM firm sponsors the club’s training ground, while another, Megafon, is Everton Women’s main shirt sponsor.
Speaking on Tuesday in Parliament, Labour MP Chris Bryant said he expected Usmanov to be sanctioned by the UK in the near future, and added he believes the same prospect has left Blues owner Roman Abramovich “terrified”.
Bryant said: “Alisher Usmanov has already been sanctioned by the EU but not yet by the UK. But I suspect he will be pretty soon on a UK list and Everton should certainly be cutting ties with him already.
Usmanov released a statement on Tuesday via the International Fencing Federation where he was president since 2008. The statement read: “On 28 February 2022, I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union.
“I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity, and business reputation. I will use all legal means to protect my honour and reputation.
“I hereby suspend the exercise of my duties as the President of the International Fencing Federation effective immediately until justice is restored.”