Chelsea owner Todd Boehly agrees to host all-star match for Ukraine at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has racked up plans to allow Football for Ukraine to play at Stamford Bridge, with Mykhaylo Mudryk and Oleksandr Zinchenko both expected to feature
Chelsea have offered to host an American-style all-star match for Ukraine at Stamford Bridge in August.
Todd Boehly has provisionally agreed to allow Football for Ukraine to play a fund-raising match amid the ongoing troubles in the country, according to the Standard. This comes after Mykhaylo Mudryk made the big-money move from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January – with a portion of the fee being donated to help the war efforts.
The 22-year-old is set to feature in the game alongside Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko. The exact shape-up of the two teams are yet to be decided, but it is thought that the match will attract big names from across the Premier League and Europe.
Negotiations have taken place for the game to be held within the first two weeks of August, and before the Premier League gets underway on August 12. The most likely outcome would be on the weekend before, although it is set to depend on Chelsea’s pre-season schedule.
Everton left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko and Bournemouth’s Illya Zabarnyi are the other two current Ukraine internationals who play in the Premier League – and are both set to feature. Roman Yaremchuk and Ruslan Malinovskyi are amongst the non-English based stars in their ranks.
It would be a momentous day for the people in Ukraine, and especially Zinchenko, who is the founder of the charity Football for Ukraine. He hopes to raise funds for those still effected from the war in his home nation after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
Former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko is also vastly involved in the project that is beginning to grow across the world. The Arsenal Foundation, Puma, Nike are others who help support the charity.
Meanwhile, the Blues have already agreed to travel to Ukraine and face Shakhtar in a homecoming match at the Donbass Arena should the conflict end. There was a clause in Mudryk’s contract that stated Chelsea will face the Ukrainian side, although a date has not yet been set.
Blues co-owner Behdad Eghbali proposed a friendly between the two clubs in Donetsk, and back in January, Shakhtar CEO, Serhii Palkin, confirmed that the proposal is not only verbal but is also written into Mudryk’s contract.
“Yes, it is written into the contract,” Palkin told The Athletic of the friendly. “But actually, we did not even need to read it in the contract because Behdad spoke with our president.
“Behdad supports Ukraine a lot because he is American and it is an English club, so for us this is a positive triangle because when you say England and Ukraine, it is important for our war support at this moment. They spoke very well and shook hands.
“I know because I translated. I liked the conversation very much and I believe that it does not matter if it is in the contract or not. It was Behdad who proposed [the friendly] because he said he wanted to help Ukraine, to help Ukrainian refugees and to support Ukrainian people. For us, this match [in Donetsk] would be like a miracle. We would have this match every weekend if we could.”
Shakhtar haven’t played a game at Donbass Arena since 2014, when they defeated Illichivets Mariupol 3-1 to secure their fifth straight league title. Conflict soon broke out between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed forces while, since early 2022, war has raged in the country following Vladimir Putin’s invasion.