Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk has launched a $25 million project for Mariupol soldiers and their families, the club announced on Monday.
The launch of the ‘Heart of Azovstal’ initiative comes after the club sold star player Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea in the English Premier League.
“I am allocating today 25 million dollars (1 billion UAH) to help our soldiers, our defenders and their families. The money will be used to cover different needs – from the provision of medical and prosthetic treatments and psychological support to meet specific demands,” Shakhtar President Rinat Akhmetov said in a statement.
“Their acts of bravery are unprecedented in modern history. It was they, their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the early months of the war and made us all feel the inevitability of Ukraine’s victory now,” Akhmetov added.
Shakhtar said they would receive a Ukrainian record transfer fee of $75 million for the 22-year-old, with an additional $35 million expected as bonuses, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
Mudryk scored three goals for Shakhtar in the Champions League group stages this season before the team was knocked out.
Many of Europe’s top clubs were keen to secure Mudryk’s signature, but Chelsea ultimately won the race.
Akhmetov added that he was convinced that Ukraine would win the war against Russia and that one day “we will play a friendly match against Chelsea at the Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk”.