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Ukrainian footballers reported dead after Russian attack

Amid a mounting death toll in Ukraine, there is mourning in the football community at the losses of Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko.

Ukrainian footballers reported dead after Russian attack
AMA via Getty Images

Two Ukrainian footballers have died during the Russian invasion of the country, it has emerged. Vitalii Sapylo was a former Karpaty Lviv youth player, while Dmytro 'Dima' Martynenko played for regional side FC Gostomel.

Ukraine footballers killed

The global players' union, FIFPRO, expressed its sorrow at the losses.

It said: "Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and team-mates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo (21) and Dmytro Martynenko (25), football's first reported losses in this war. May they both rest in peace."

Karpaty announced the death of Sapylo, saying in a statement: "On Friday, February 25, a pupil of our school Vitalii Sapylo died near Kyiv. Sincere condolences to the family. Eternal memory of the hero!"

Sapylo was reportedly a tank commander who died in conflict with Russian forces while defending Kyiv.

Ukrainian media cited a report on the Kyiv-Sviatoshynskyi football federation Facebook page in announcing the death of Martynenko, stating he and his mother died after their house was hit by a bomb.

FIFA and UEFA this week announced Russian teams have been suspended from international and club competitions until further notice.


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