Wembley Stadium and the English Football Association (FA) have invited over 1,000 Ukrainians, and their host families from across Britain, to attend the upcoming England vs Ukraine UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday.
Over 1,000 free tickets have been offered to Ukrainians displaced by the war in their native country. They have been invited to the match as special guests of the FA and Wembley, with the stadium team working with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) to offer tickets as a thank you to sponsor families.
Thousands of people across the UK offered their home to host families through the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme, after Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February last year. There are some 117,000 Ukrainians still unable to return home to the country.
“Ukrainians everywhere have been overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion, which has allowed them to flee Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and find a safe haven in Great Britain to start to rebuild their lives,” said Petro Rewko, chair of AUGB.
“We are immensely grateful to the FA and Wembley Stadium for donating tickets to displaced Ukrainians. They will, of course, be cheering Ukraine, but they will also be celebrating the England team and their supporters for reaching out a hand of true friendship and making the match such a memorable one for them.”
More than 85,000 fans are set to travel to Wembley for the match, with 4,200 Ukraine supporters among them. The game will be England’s first home fixture of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Over the past year the UK has stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine. Thousands of people have played their part by generously welcoming Ukrainians into their homes, and we continue to do all we can to support all those displaced because of Putin’s illegal war. This Euro 2024 qualifier will be a poignant and emotional occasion and I applaud the FA and the team at Wembley Stadium for their kind gesture.”
Liam Boylan, Wembley Stadium director, added: “Football has been united in its support for Ukraine and condemnation of the invasion by Russian forces. The invitation to Wembley Stadium is a reaffirmation of our solidarity with Ukrainian supporters currently living here in the UK, and a thank you to all those Britons who have opened up their homes to help them.”