Benefit game brings 400,000 euros
Emotional defeat against Kiev makes BVB happy
Five goals were scored at Westfalenstadion, but another number is important: Borussia Dortmund and Dynamo Kyiv raised 400,000 euros with the advantage game dedicated to the victims of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Two young players provide emotional moments.
When 13-year-old Nikita Semenow passed Erling Haaland at kick-off, many of the 35,000 spectators at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion got a lump in their throat. The junior footballer from Dynamo Kyiv fled with his mother from a shelter room via Poland to Berlin, and now he was allowed to open the advantage game between Borussia and the Ukrainian flagship club. It was just one of many signs of peace, big and small, on a memorable evening.
That BVB lost 2: 3 (1: 3) against Dynamo was only a minor matter. Visits by Vitaliy Buyalskiy (9th minute) and Vladyslav Vanat (11th / 35th) to 3: 2 (3: 1) were cheered on by both teams’ fans. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (4th) and Tom Rothe (65th) contributed with the goals for BVB. Where else black and yellow reigned, the colors blue and yellow in Ukraine determined the backdrop that night. “Stop War” was written on the boards, and the national anthem played before kick-off. “It’s about setting an example – and making some money,” said BVB’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke on ZDF, who broadcast live.
The proud figure of 400,000 euros finally came together. “We want to do something decent with it, we have a lot of experience there,” Watzke said. Former Bundesliga professional Andrei Voronin thanked for the support. After similar matches of the 16-time Ukrainian champions from Kiev in Warsaw, Istanbul and Cluj, the Bundesliga club has probably contributed to the highest earnings from this mission to date. “We hope that soon we can play such matches again in Ukraine. I pray every day that it will be over as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we do not see the end,” said the longtime Ukrainian national team player.
Klitschko thanks via video message
There was great agreement in the stands. “Stop War – Stop Putin”, “Save Mariupol” or simply “Peace” were on the posters as players stepped onto the lawn to the sound of the football anthem “You’ll never walk alone” – the guests each wrapped in a national flag. Ivan Matviychuk from Shakhtar Donetsk U17s, who fled Ukraine with his mother and grandfather and currently lives in Dortmund, helped stadium reviewer Norbert Dickel read the line-ups.
Among the spectators were also DFB President Bernd Neuendorf and NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst. Neuendorf spoke about an important message to Ukraine during the match. “The tanks are rolling there, people are living in constant fear. A game like this means an important change,” the DFB chief said. At Alan Aussi, a young Ukrainian professional was used as a guest player on the BVB team, who found shelter with a club employee and currently coaches with Revierklub’s U23 team.
At BVB, there was never any doubt about the execution of the meeting. “It is nothing new for us to support people in need. We did it already during the flood, it goes without saying for us,” Reinhard Rauball told ZDF: “As president of Borussia Dortmund, I am proud of those who came today and made sure people got something to eat and drink. ”Ukrainians could book free tickets to the match, and all fans were offered solidarity bracelets.
In a video message a few minutes before the kick-off, Wladimir Klitschko, former boxing world champion and brother of Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko, thanked BVB and the fans: “You show that we will not forget. You show that the Vladimir Putin war will never win. “