There’s a long history of the commingling of global sport with global conflict. We wrote about this during the February Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, given the hopes at that time that sport might help with the diplomatic efforts to ward off a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Of course, that never happened, but in the months since, the world’s playing fields have in different ways become venues for expressions of support for Ukraine.
This was on our minds in the aftermath of Sunday’s stirring World Cup soccer qualifying match, in which the last slot in the 2022 tournament was to be decided. It had been delayed because of the war, given that Ukraine was among the teams in contention. In the event, Wales beat Ukraine, 1-0, but the match drew a global outpouring of solidarity from people who might not have otherwise been interested in a Wales-Ukraine qualifier.
These photos include a few from Sunday’s match, but mostly they cover the myriad ways in which the world of sport has rallied in support of the Ukrainian people. Some are subtle, others less so, but the Ukrainian blue and yellow can now be seen on pitches and diamonds and stadiums all over the world.