Historically, it was a curse. And I don't envy the players

Tamuz KhidirNews
Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko coached the Ukrainian national team

It is worth commenting on the UAF elections.

I think the headline is good.

"Shevchenko is the president of the UAF" – this resonates in Ukrainian society. The best footballer, known in Ukraine and internationally, is now the head of the country's main football body.

I congratulate Shevchenko for being the first to leave the NOC executive committee after the elections in 2022, after the huge resonance in society when the headlines were "Shufrych and Surkis were elected to the NOC executive committee." At the same time, the same Surkis was sitting in the front row yesterday as a respected aksakal of Ukrainian football.

People who follow Ukrainian politics remember that Shevchenko was in politics. He ran with Natalia Korolevska's party "Ukraine – Forward!" in the 2012 elections. They got only 1.5% of the vote and did not get into the parliament. At the time, I thought it was strange. Why risk your excellent reputation in such a political adventure? But Klytschko did it, and he was quite successful if you measure it by votes.

There are rumors that Shevchenko was the candidate lobbied by the Office of the President of Ukraine.

I don't know. I haven't seen any concrete evidence.

But it's an axiom in Ukraine. It's an axiom in Ukraine that to be in power in large sports federations, you need at least the "blessing" of the people who currently have political power. The basis for this was laid by Joseph Stalin. When the Soviet Union in the 50s was looking for a way to join international sports, but without having to introduce real autonomy for sports.

Historically, it was a curse. And I don't envy the players who become talented football executives. Promotion upwards has been closed in many cases. Just look at the previous leadership of the UAF. President Andriy Pavelko heads the budget committee of the parliament. Nazar Kolodnytskyi headed the specialized anti-corruption prosecutor's office, and the day they lost their positions in the state apparatus, their position in the Football Federation became unstable. This is about everything but the development of football. By the way, yesterday Valeriy Pustovoitenko was present at the meeting. He even managed to combine the post of Prime Minister of Ukraine with the presidency of the Football Association in the late 90s. The president of the NOC, Vadym Hutsayt, spoke, and I don't think he talked about good governance and how to avoid conflicts of interest. I myself was the president of the NOC and the Minister of Youth and Sports for more than a year. And he was the president of the National Fencing Federation for almost his entire term as minister.

Therefore, when Shevchenko compares budgets with other European federations, I would say that you should also look at how they are managed. There are bad examples, but there are many good ones.

In many European countries, getting elected is purely a fight within the sport. This is what we should strive for.

Let me come back to the elections. When you vote for one candidate who gets 94 votes and 1 abstention. What you really get is that no one will take responsibility. So if things go very badly, everyone can say that there were no other alternatives. No opposition, no alternative views, and no alternative candidates. This is from the Good Governance seminar on Wednesday.

Some red flags:

  • First Vice President Pavlo Boichuk is Andriy Shevchenko's personal lawyer. Is this a conflict of interest? I don't think anyone dared to ask the question: will you be loyal to football or to your client in a critical situation?
  • First Vice President Serhiy Rebrov.

I thought Serhiy Rebrov was the head coach of the men's national team? So will he sit in the leadership of the federation and critically evaluate his own work as head coach of the national team?

Is there a conflict of interest?

  • Oleksandr Zinchenko – I thought that being a professional footballer in one of the best clubs in the world and a player of the national team was a full-time job.

But maybe it doesn't take much time to lead the federation.

Also, out of the 12 members of the executive committee, only 1 is a woman, Kateryna Monzul, which is a respect. I hope Shevchenko will change the situation that there are NO women in the women's football development committee, only 3 men.

This is a question I would ask before voting. But I don't have the right to vote. And I am not a football insider, just someone who sees from the outside.

Tamuz, why are you talking about individuals and not about the program?

Because this election is about people. The program is just a formality. But I will come back to the program a little later. It is more about measuring the results of work.

94 voted in favor, 1 abstained.

It does not answer many questions.

At the same time, good luck in cleaning up and developing Ukrainian football.

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