Ex-Chelsea and Ukraine star Andriy Shevchenko will take a number of child refugees into his own London home and is also set to help bring 150 people to the UK.
The news comes amid millions of people being forced to flee their homes in Ukraine following Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion
In what the UN claim is Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, more than 2.8million people have been forced to move to Poland.
The UK government has launched a scheme ‘Homes for Ukraine’ which will involve people hosting refugees and receive a fee of £350 a month.
Shevchenko has now opened the doors to his own home for some child refugees and announced his intention to find shelter for 150 others.
“The war is very cruel and it’s hard to see the cities being destroyed, the people dying”, Shevchenko told ITV.
“I’m a father of four kids and for me to see images of kids dying, the bombs going at a kid’s hospital, I can’t stand that. I don’t think any person in the world can stand for that.
“I try to support my country, I try to raise attention, I tried to speak about exactly what’s going on, I try to touch the heart of the people and then to understand the circumstances.
“Of course I try to raise humanitarian aid and help my country, my people, refugees.
“I was waiting for the rules of the government and now it’s quite clear… I was working with the ambassador of Ukraine here and then I have a couple of friends who want to help and we’re going to take 150 refugees here and put them in different areas and take a couple of children also in my house.
“I don’t think there is a place in Ukraine where you feel safe now. I can’t believe this, sometimes it’s like a bad dream.
“I just wake up and say to myself ‘it’s going to come back to normal situation’ but I know it’ll never happen.
“I know we have to deal with this situation, and we have to find a way to bring the peace in my country.”
Shevchenko, who scored 22 goals in 77 appearances for Chelsea, was speaking for the first time since the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.
It saw Chelsea put under a special licence designed to prevent them – and by extension Abramovich – from generating any new revenue, including from ticket sales.
“It’s a very difficult moment for me, in the moment I don’t think about football”, he added.
“My head, my whole attention is to help my country but I know the situation and it’s a very hard moment for the Chelsea fans, for the club.
“I think you can’t cancel the history of Chelsea. The fans have to just be strong and support the club.”
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