War-Torn Ukraine Revel in Euro 2024 Qualification

Euro 2024

It was a precious time of mirth for the Ukrainians as the country celebrated the qualification of the Ukraine football team for Euro 2024 after a few years of being battered by war with Russia. The Blue and Yellow won over Iceland in the last qualification match for the tournament’s playoffs. 

Ukraine celebrates Euro 2024 qualification

A decisive goal from Chelsea winger Mykhialo Mudryk secured the Ukraine a 2-1 win over Iceland last Tuesday for the Euro 2024. The unexpected victory brought joy to the fans and players at the Wroclaw Stadium in Poland. This particular neutral venue was selected due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia

12BETINFO War-Torn Ukraine Revel in Euro 2024 Qualification
Fans of Ukraine’s national squad raised their flags to support their team

Following the final call, Mudryk folded from his knees in a moment of silence as he filled his heart with joy following the win. He was not the only one; the rest of the team, the coaches, and the supporters also reveled on the field as a sea of yellow and light blue flags overflowed from the stadium. 

The players formed a ring around the center of the pitch as they encouraged the fans to do the ‘Viking thunder clap.’ The gesture was popularized by their fallen opponents, Iceland, during the 2016 edition of the Euros. 

Ukraine vs Iceland

Ukraine qualified for Group C of Euro 2024. They will join the teams of England, Malta, Italy, and North Macedonia. They finished in third place in their qualifying group, only a few points behind England and Italy in the standing table. Before their decisive clash with Iceland, they met with Bosnia-Herzegovina in an initial playoff that went fruitful. 

12BETINFO War-Torn Ukraine Revel in Euro 2024 Qualification
Ukraine and Iceland went on an intense match.

During the first half of the match, a smart individual goal from Albert Gudmundsson put Iceland in the lead against the Ukrainians. However, their celebration was cut short following the stunning goal by Viktor Tsyhankov. 

Talking about the venue, Poland became a haven for the 1 million refugees from their neighbor, Ukraine, which was heavily marred by the Russian war. According to the UN records, over 6 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland ever since the Russian invasion started in February 2022. 

Pres. Zelensky praised the victors

The highly respected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, expressed his praise and gratitude to the team for attesting that when the time was hard for the Ukrainians, they refused to raise the white flag and remained fighting. Eventually, the Ukrainians will prevail amidst the chaos. 

12BETINFO War-Torn Ukraine Revel in Euro 2024 Qualification
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his support for the national team.

Zelensky posted an Instagram message of gratitude for the Ukrainian national team. He wrote, “ In times of crisis when others want to destroy us Ukrainians every day, we also continue to prove every day that we are strong and there is nothing we can endure.” He continued his praise and gratitude, “Thank you for the success! Glory to Ukraine!” 

Overview of the Russian invasion

It was February 24, 2022, when Russia started a full campaign against Ukraine, where they launched a full-scale siege of the Eastern regions of the country, with Crimea and Donetsk in particular. 

In a matter of days, the Russian forces laid waste to Kyiv, and they gained the upper hand. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused to flee from the city and inspired his fellow citizens to fight back. 

It has been three years since the attack, and Russia is continuing to seize control of Donbas, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Over 14,000 people were killed, and millions sought refuge in neighboring countries.

12BETINFO War-Torn Ukraine Revel in Euro 2024 Qualification
The aftermath of the Russian attack on Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv.

The effects of the war reverberated to other aspects of international relations. Several countries launched sanctions against Russia. In sports, Russian teams were banned from European competitions such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the upcoming Euro 2024. 

Ukraine was sorted into Group E of the European Championships, where it will face Slovakia, Belgium, and Romania. Russia is still barred from taking part in the competition due to the continuous Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Euro 2024 will be played in Germany in June and July. It will be the first major sports competition for Ukraine since the Russian invasion started, which was deemed the most destructive war in Europe.