Play On! How Football Returned To War Torn Ukraine examines how football has been affected by the war in the country
Talksport has produced Play On! How Football Returned To War Torn Ukraine, an hour-long documentary that will be released on the Talksport Daily podcast feed on 17 November.
It will also air as a radio documentary at 9pm on 19 November, and explores the tumultuous journey Ukrainian football has faced since war broke out in the country in early 2022. British-Ukrainian sports journalist Andrew Todos narrates, looking at the clubs, players and fans as war broke out, where they are now and how the football community recovered from the devastation.
Todos runs a website and a podcast about football in Ukraine and has been travelling back and forth to the country over the last 18 months, recording interviews and visiting football clubs. Listeners will hear from the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Sergei Rebrov, as well as the courageous story of Olha Pyasetska, whose football fanatic husband died during the conflict.
Todos said: “18 months have passed since the start of Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine. Every aspect of life there has been touched by it. Nowhere more so than in football and it’s something I have managed to experience with my own eyes over the past year. It has been a privilege to work on this new talkSPORT documentary that will shine a deep light on how the beautiful game has managed to survive and slowly rebuild amidst the ongoing dangers of war, destruction of stadiums and the very personal sacrifices of fans.
“It will reiterate how football and sport remain unifiers for a defiant people during troubled times. With daily coverage of the war becoming less visible in the news of late, it remains incredibly important to keep Ukrainians’ voices heard around the world as their nation continues in its brave fight for survival both on and off the pitch.”
Liam Fisher, head of Talksport, added: “Our latest documentary provides much needed insight into the future of football in war-torn Ukraine. Andrew has bravely travelled to Ukraine for over a year to create this exposé which sheds light on the challenges players, fans and their families have faced since the war broke out. It also explores how teams and the country are rebuilding amongst ongoing conflict, as well as telling the stories of courageous footballers and supporters who left football behind to fight on the front lines. It’s an outstanding piece of work from our award-winning documentary team that is not to be missed.”