Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An upcoming film that depicts the events surrounding the so called 'death match' between a team of Ukrainians and occupying Nazi troops during World War II has seen its launch delayed because of fears it will create negative sentiment ahead of Euro 2012.

'The Match' tells the story of a group of Ukrainian footballers who beat a Nazi team during 1942 despite the obvious fears that any subsequent victory might threaten the safety of all of the Ukrainian players involved. The Ukrainians won 5-3 and it is believed that up to four members of their team were later murdered, three of them in concentration camps. 

However, although the match certainly took place, there has never been conclusive evidence of what truly occurred following the infamous game as the Soviet authorities later used the story for their own propaganda interests following World War II. The story is also said to have inspired two films in later years: the 1961 Hungarian film 'Ket felido a pokolban' ('Two half times in hell') (see below) and the Hollywood production 'Escape to Victory'.

Up to 10 million Ukrainians died during World War II - a fact often overlooked by historians from the United States, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Ket felido a pokolban - the 1961 Hungarian film based on events in Kyiv during WWII which will also feature in the upcoming movie 'The Match'.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ukraine manager Oleh Blokhin has named his squad for Ukraine's key upcoming friendly against Israel in Petach-Tivka on February 29. Ukraine have been short on competitive matches due to the fact that they automatically qualified for this summer's European Championships as hosts.
Blokhin's side has two notable absentees Shakhtar Donetsk defender Dmytry Chygrynskiy and Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko, who both have ankle injuries.

Harking back to past decades, the Ukrainian 20-man squad is largely built on players from Dynamo Kyiv, with only a handful of players such as Dynamo Moscow's Andriy Voronin plying their trade abroad.