AC Milan releases Shevchenko shirt to raise funds for Ukraine

Early on Saturday, air raid sirens sounded in many parts of Ukraine as Russia seeks to press ahead with its invasion of the country despite global condemnation and backlash against it.

The football world continued to offer its unconditional support to Ukraine and Ukrainian players, with the latest news being action taken against the Russian Football Federation, where the Russian team was banned from the Qatar World Cup .

Similarly, the UK government has continued its crackdown on Putin-linked Russians by imposing sanctions on Russian owner Roman Abramovich and his club Chelsea.

At the same time, the players gathered before kick-off in numerous matches across Europe to show their solidarity and support for Ukraine.

While these grand gestures are important in sending a clear message against Russia, the efforts that have had a direct impact on the crisis have come from much smaller acts of goodwill.

For example, Real Madrid second-choice goalkeeper Andriy Lunin has helped send rations of food and clothing to affected areas of his country by organizing donation campaigns in local markets in the Spanish capital.

In a similar effort, Italian giants AC Milan have announced the launch of a “Special Edition – Manchester Shevchenko 2003 Shirt” whose sale will be used to raise funds for Ukraine.

The jersey is priced at €50 but the club website allows additional donations of €15, €30 and €50 as well as the base price which would be donated to the Italian Red Cross for the Ukraine project.

The shirt design was inspired by Milan’s 2002/03 Champions League final victory over Juventus at Old Trafford thanks to an intense penalty shoot-out where their Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko scored the decisive spot-kick for seal the 6and European triumph for the Milan team.

The kit retains the white stripes of the Milan kit worn for the final with a red collar but combines the colors of the Ukrainian flag on the shoulder stripes and also features the flag symbol on the chest with the club crest.

In the center, where the sponsor’s name is usually displayed, is the message “AC Milan for PEACE” along with the peace symbol. The back of the kit bears Shevchenko’s name and the number 7.

The initiative has been warmly welcomed by football fans as it combines a message of solidarity with an effort to bring material aid to affected Ukrainians.

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