Two Ukrainian footballers, Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, were killed on Tuesday night following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The international football players association, FIFPRO, announced this on Tuesday afternoon, saying, “Our thoughts are with the families, friends and team-mates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, football’s first reported losses in this war. May they both rest in peace."
Vitalii Sapylo, a 21-year-old youth-team player with second division Karpaty Lviv, lost his life during a battle near Kiev after joining the army as a tank commander.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Martynenko, an amateur player with regional club FC Gostomel, died alongside his mother when their apartment block close to the Ukranian capital was bombed by Russian forces.
Football has largely turned against Russia following the invasion, with both the country and its clubs banned from Fifa and Uefa competition, including this summer’s women’s European Championship and next month’s men’s World Cup qualifying play-offs.
Russia has also been denied the right to host any international matches or competitions, with St. Petersburg stripped of this season’s men’s Champions League Final.
There have been shows of support for Ukraine and its people at matches across Europe, including ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final at Wembley.