A soccer match between two Ukrainian teams lasted nearly five hours Monday evening, a national record caused by multiple interruptions for air attack alerts in the country fighting an invasion by Russia.
The kick-off was given at 5:00 p.m. local time, but the Dnipro-1 and Oleksandria players were only able to finally reach their locker rooms a little before 10:00 p.m., after “almost 280 minutes,” noted the first of the players. two clubs on X (formerly Twitter). This is the longest meeting “in the history of the Ukrainian championship”, indicated the specialized site sport.ua.
The meeting took place in Dnipro, a large city in the center-east which has not been spared by Russian strikes since the start of the war, in February 2022. The first division championship was suspended at the start of the war, but has since resumed his matches. The matches, which are played without spectators for security reasons, must however be suspended in the event of an air alert. And these sirens, a now usual sound for a large part of the Ukrainians, sounded “several times” during the match on Monday, which “could still be finished”, explained the Ukrainian Football Federation (UAF) on his site.
Some alerts remained in effect for more than an hour, according to sport.ua. The Dnipro club finally won 1-0. One of his players, Eduard Sarapiy, later said that it was the first meeting “this long” for his team. “I wanted to finish the match,” he said in an interview published on the Dnipro-1 website. The conflict had a devastating effect on Ukrainian clubs. Some can no longer play in their hometown, which is too dangerous, others have seen their stadium hit by strikes.
Shakhtar Donetsk, for example, will play its European matches this season in Hamburg, Germany, after having been hosted for a time in Warsaw. Players have also lost loved ones. In September, the brother of Dmitro Riznyk, goalkeeper of Shakhtar Donetsk, died after a mine explosion.