Gladbach: Charity Match Against Ukraine – Live on ProSieben from 8.15pm

More than a charity game
What Borussia and the Ukrainian national team hope for from their duel

Borussia Mönchengladbach will host the Ukrainian national team on Wednesday, for which it is the first game since the war. How the duel was born, what should the Ukrainian people get out of it and how many spectators are expected.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian national team will face a special task. While war rages at home, for the first time since the war began, on February 24, they will play a game to send a signal of solidarity from afar. The opponent is the Gladbach Bundesliga, the match will be played at 20:45 at Borussia Park.

“The national team wants to send a message of Ukrainian unity and show how important support from around the world is for them,” said Iryna Shum, Ukrainian consul general in Düsseldorf ahead of the match.

It is equally important for players who are completing a training camp in Slovenia that they feel the support of the people at the stadium. By Monday about 14,000 tickets had disappeared, 20,000 is the goal. Tickets are available at discounted prices, and citizens of Ukraine can even order them for free. According to Shum, some 150,000 Ukrainians have now fled to North Rhine-Westphalia alone.

“We would be happy if people came to the match in Ukrainian colors,” said Shum. The flags should also be distributed in the stands. Borussia has declared the game a charity game and will donate all winnings from the game to a good cause. So far, the club has already donated one euro for each club member and spectators can still donate the cup deposit in the stadium. “Almost 180,000 euros have now been raised,” said the chief executive of Borussia Schippers. This money was used, for example, to buy medicines and then send them to Ukraine, he explained.

The game is intended to increase the total, but how did the duel between Gladbach and Ukraine come about? “We were contacted by the Ukrainian Football Association’s legal advisor if such a thing were possible,” said Schippers. “We want to give Ukraine the sporting opportunity to prepare for important matches, but also offer a platform to express that what is happening in Ukraine is deplorable,” said Schippers. For Ukraine, the game is used, among other things, to prepare for the World Cup playoff match against Scotland on June 1, and then three Nations League matches.

The Ukrainian players, who will use the Borussia training ground from Tuesday to Thursday and will also stay at the club’s hotel, will have the names of various Ukrainian cities on their shirts. The team consists mainly of players from the best Ukrainian clubs Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. Mykola Matvienko and Taras Stepanenko are among those who played against Borussia in the 2020 Champions League. Players who are active in foreign clubs will only join the team after their respective seasons.

It is an honor for Gladbach manager Adi Hütter to be able to help in this way. Four days before the last game of the season against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (15:30), he will distribute the playing time as evenly as possible. We will mix the squad and try to field two powerful teams for one half each. We can try one or the other and give some players who have recently played less playing time, ”Hütter said.

In terms of media, Wednesday’s match is expected to generate the widest reach possible. The ProSieben TV station will report from Borussia Park for three hours starting at 8.15pm and will give viewers the opportunity to help in various ways. “We noticed that one or the other fan criticized the late kick-off, but ProSieben gave us a clear signal that the ratings would be more than double at this later time,” said a club spokesperson. .

In cooperation with a Ukrainian TV station, there will be an opportunity to watch the match from Ukraine. “The match between Borussia Dortmund and Dynamo Kyiv two weeks ago attracted a lot of attention. Such actions give courage and strength to the people of my country,” said Shum. After all, this is more important than the final result.

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