As part of Dynamo Kyiv FC's "Stop the war - Play for peace" international tour, representatives of the Ukrainian capital's flagship football club were received on Wednesday at Brussels City Hall.
They then joined the team at the Petit Heysel stadium, made available by the city to allow the Ukrainian players to train for Friday evening's friendly against Royal Antwerp FC in Antwerp.
Assistant coach Oleg Gusiev, International Affairs Director Anatoliy Volk and team spokesperson Andrey Shakhov, accompanied by the representative of the "Promote Ukraine" association, Iryna Orel, appeared on the Brussels City Hall balcony, graced by many big sports names.
"This is quite a symbol," said Brussels Mayor Philippe Close. "Dynamo Kyiv is part of football legend. It has won two European cups. They are also sportsmen who make Ukrainians dream." The mayor said he hoped to see them again in Brussels against Union Saint-Gilloise in the UEFA Champions League.
This was also the wish of Alderman for Sports Benoît Hellings, who said "it would be a beautiful moment of European fraternity around a football competition" to welcome the team and its supporters, as Belgium has welcomed "dozens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees" fleeing the war launched by Russia on 24 February.
Oleg Gusiev believes for his part that "there will surely be a lot of supporters on Friday evening for the friendly match" against Antwerp. "We have already played in many countries and, each time, we felt the support of people against this war," he said.