Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski says war is against “everything beautiful in sports” as he pleaded for solidarity with Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
The player also announced that he would be consulting with his national teammates over their upcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Russia to present a common front.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region.
The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kiev.
Sportspeople, teams, and organisations around the globe have joined in the condemnation of Russia’s attack.
On Friday, Bayern Munich lit their stadium up in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag, with coach Julian Nagelsmann expressing his shock at the invasion.
“Everything beautiful in sports is against what war brings,” Lewandowski who is from Poland posted on his official social media channels.
“For all people who value freedom and peace, this is a time of solidarity with the victims of military aggression in Ukraine.”
On Thursday, the Polish football association, along with their counterparts from Sweden and the Czech Republic, requested that Russia be barred from hosting any upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The four nations are in the same play-off pathway for Qatar 2022.
Russia had been set to host Poland in March.
But on Friday, European football ruling body UEFA confirmed that any international matches due to be held in Russia or Ukraine would have to be moved to a neutral venue.
It also confirmed that St Petersburg had been stripped of holding this season’s UEFA Champions League final match.
Lewandowski, who is Poland’s captain, went on to explain that he would hold discussions with his teammates as to whether they wish to face Russia.
“As the captain of the national team, I will talk to my colleagues from the team about the match with Russia in order to work out a common position on this matter and present it to the president of the Polish Football Association as soon as possible,” Lewandowski indicated.