Ukrainian coach, who did not believe Russia attacked, had an epiphany and apologised
Former Chornomorets coach Oleksiy Hai admitted that he changed his mind about Russia after the start of the full-scale invasion. In 2018, Hai refused to wear a T-shirt in support of the fallen ATO soldiers and also refused to call Russia an aggressor country, explaining that he was not holding a candle to it: "I did not hold a candle. I didn't see who brought it to us, when and what."
"I recently gathered my strength and re-read my interview from 2018. I saw in him a man who sincerely says what he thinks, but is also sincerely and deeply mistaken. Today, I regret not giving that interview, but that I did not notice things that are unambiguous for any Ukrainian since 24 February 2022," ТаТоТаке quoted Hai as saying.
The 40-year-old native of Zaporizhzhia sincerely apologised to everyone "who understood in 2014 that we were at war with an aggressor who wanted to wipe out our people".
Oleksiy Hai played for Metalurh Zaporizhzhia, Shakhtar Donetsk, Olimpik Donetsk and Chornomorets Odesa. He played 29 matches for the Ukrainian national team.
In 2016, he joined Russian side Kuban, for whom he played in 63 matches and scored 12 goals. In one of his subsequent interviews, Hai admitted that he went there not because of any of his beliefs, but because it was simply one of the options to continue his career.