Ukraine legend punished for ‘remaining silent & working for club of the aggressor’
The Ukrainian football authorities have stripped record appearance maker Anatoliy Tymoshchuk of a host of accolades, citing his continued association with Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg and an apparent failure to speak out against the military operation in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) announced on Friday that it had approved a series of requests made by the organization’s Ethics and Fair Play Committee against Tymoshchuk, who is assistant coach at Russian champions Zenit.
The UAF confirmed that Tymoshchuk would be stripped of the coaching licenses he earned through the organization and would be prohibited from “engaging in football activities on the territory of Ukraine for life.”
The statement added that Tymoshchuk, who made a record 144 appearances for his country during his playing career, would be excluded from the official register of Ukrainian national teams and lose the titles he had won in his homeland during his time at Shakhtar Donetsk.
In addition, the UAF said it would apply to the relevant public authorities “to deprive [Tymoshchuk] of all state awards and honorary titles.”
“It will be recalled that since the beginning of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine… the former captain of the Ukrainian national team not only did not make any public statements in this regard, but also did not stop his cooperation with the aggressor’s club,” the statement read.
“[Tymoshchuk] continues to remain silent and work for the club of the aggressor. By making this conscious choice, [he] damages the image of Ukrainian football and violates… the Code of Ethics and Fair Play UAF,” it added.
Tymoshchuk, 42, has been an assistant coach at Russian giants Zenit since 2017 – a club where he also spent part of a gilded playing career which included Champions League glory at Bayern Munich.
The former defensive midfielder had an international career spanning more than 15 years and which came to end in 2016. His cap tally of 144 is unmatched for Ukraine and surpasses the likes of striking legend Andriy Shevchenko.
At club level, Tymoshchuk began with hometown team Volyn Lutsk before joining Ukrainian giants Shakhtar and then moving to Zenit in 2007, helping the Russians to the UEFA Cup and Super Cup titles.
A successful spell followed at Bayern Munich before Tymoshchuk returned to Zenit for another two years, then seeing out his playing career at Kairat in Kazakhstan.
Tymoshchuk rejoined Zenit in a coaching capacity five years ago and has become an integral part of the setup currently headed by fellow former playing star Sergey Semak.
While Tymoshchuk remains at Zenit amid the military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, the St. Petersburg club did agree to end their contract with Ukrainian defensive lynchpin Yaroslav Rakitskiy earlier this month.