A Go Fund Me collection page has been set up by representatives from the broadcast industry to ensure that the Mariupol Women’s Football Team, Mariupolchanka FC, can re-enter Ukraine and play in the upcoming season of the Ukrainian Women’s Premier League.
The team, which prior to the Russian invasion also maintained a thriving girls academy, was forced to shelter in the cellar of its coach as fighting in the city intensified, before finally undertaking a dangerous evacuation.
Forced to flee the country, its players have been dispersed around Europe ever since.
They have no boots, most of them have no kit, but, even though the war grinds on, with the siege now over they are determined to return home and start playing again as a gesture of solidarity with their fellow Ukrainians.
If suitable funds are raised, the team will play in Kyiv for the 2022 fixtures. Team founders Yana and Karina are also planning to open children’s football schools in as many Ukrainian cities as possible, to introduce as many girls to the game as possible.
They also intend to start a volunteer organisation, which will distribute humanitarian aid to those most impacted by the war. Food is the most urgent need, but also first aid kits, drones, personal care products and toys.
First though, they need to take to the pitch.
All of the Mariupolchanka FC equipment was destroyed and so the fund, which is being led by Singular.live, who support the team with live match graphics, as part of their Singular For Good program, is seeking to raise funds for the following essential items:
- Team accommodation
- Full kit
- Equipment for training and playing
You can learn more about Mariupolchanka FC in this short BBC News video, Mariupolchanka FC: The women’s football team under siege in Ukraine, which was produced when the team was forced to evacuate the city.
The link to the Go Fund Me page is here: https://gofund.me/2a86c6ff.