Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea, will host a charity match for Ukraine ahead of the new Premier League football season.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, announced the Game4Ukraine in a public address yesterday (Tuesday), revealing that Chelsea will host the special match in west London on August 5.
The game will be held in support of Zelenskyy’s UNITED24 initiative, raising funds for the reconstruction of the Mykhailo-Kotsiubynsky Lyceum in Chernihiv Oblast, a school struck by missiles during the ongoing conflict with Russia.
The game will kick off at 6pm local time and see two sides – Team Yellow and Team Blue, representing the national colours of Ukraine – competing at Stamford Bridge, captained by former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko and current Arsenal full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, who are past and present Ukrainian internationals, and ambassadors for UNITED24.
“I support the initiative of Andriy Shevchenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko to hold a charity match in London,” said Zelenskyy. “The Game4Ukraine at Stamford Bridge is an opportunity for the football community all over the world to unite, show solidarity, help Ukraine, and help our children return to their school desks.”
Shevchenko added: ‘We discussed a charity match for Ukraine with President Zelenskyy a year ago, when I became the first ambassador of UNITED24. It took time to arrange such an event. The game for Ukraine and for the sake of Ukraine will take place at a stadium that I know very well.
“I am sure that both Chelsea and Arsenal fans will support this match, as well as everyone who likes football and wants to express their solidarity with Ukraine.”
Organisers have said the two captains will select their teams from a pool featuring some of the greatest footballers of the modern era, in addition to a number of celebrity guest players. Star names from Chelsea, the wider footballing world and beyond will be revealed between now and August.
The day will also feature live music inside the stadium with a pitchside concert being staged during an extended 45-minute half-time break. Tickets go on sale today, with general admission priced at £28 (€32/$35) for adults and £15 for juniors and seniors.
In addition, there are special general admission-plus tickets, which will provide a pitchside location priced at £50 for adults or £25 for juniors and seniors, while Club Chelsea hospitality packages are being made available.
Zelenskyy established the UNITED24 initiative as a way for people around the world to donate directly to the Ukrainian state in support of a number of specific causes. To date, the venture has raised close to $341m (£276m/€319.6m).
All of the funds raised by the Game4Ukraine, through ticket sales, sponsorship and a special range of merchandise available on the day, will be directed towards UNITED24 and the reconstruction of the Mykhailo-Kotsiubynsky Lyceum.
Yesterday’s announcement came a year on from the news that a consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed its acquisition of Chelsea.
The consortium purchased Chelsea from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who signalled his intention to sell the club after sanctions were placed on him by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.