Eurovision has not been the only escape route in recent days for the battered village of Ukraine. That same Saturday, hours before the triumph at the song festival, un group of 28 kids from kyiv abstracted for a few hours from the Russian invasionof the forced separation from their families and their forced exile with no return date, thanks to their great passion for football.
To the Espanyol-Valencia at the RCDE Stadium were attended by these kids, Ukrainian refugeeswho a long month ago arrived at a house in the region of l’Anoia, first, and for a few weeks they have lived together in a center located in Baix Llobregatunder the Psychosocial Intervention Diagram Foundation. They present in common that they have between 14 and 16 years old, and they are all cadet players at FC Dush 21 from the capital of Ukraine. “Football motivates them like nothing else, it’s probably their best way to escape of the unfortunate situation that surrounds them”, affirms to AS the social educator Andrea Mansawho witnessed the match with them.
It was a contact of this organization with the Penya Blanc i Blava Sant Joan Despí Who procured the tickets? “They received us in Cornellà as if we were famous. The attention was ten. During the game I was looking at them and they had faces of enormous emotion. They were super happy. And in the end they went down on their own initiative to the first row, behind the bench, to ask the players for shirts. They were like crazy”, narrates Mansa.
Aside from Espanyol, from the school where they study and the activities organized by the members of Diagrama, the guys from Dush 21 have been able to follow soccer practice that they adore thanks to the fact that a colleague from the foundation is a coach in a club in Sant Boi, where they train and even playwhen the possibility arises, a friendly match.
Only the end of the war will determine their return home, to Ukraine, together with some families with whom they communicate regularly. “They they are evaded but they watch the news. Families don’t tell them everything that happens, but many have begun to lose their jobs, or have had to go to other cities. Since they came until now, there has been a very significant change”, assumes the social educator, knowing that soccer is being the great escape of these kids.