There were no goals and no fans when the Ukraine Premier League season kicked off but the momentous occasion was not lost on those involved.
Football returns to Ukraine in escape from war ravaged life
With two teams playing in an empty stadium hundreds of miles away from their hometowns, the Ukrainian Premier League kicked off its new season after a poignant ceremony paying tribute to those fighting in the war with Russia.
The opening match at Kyiv’s 65,500-seat Olympic stadium — behind closed doors with no fans — saw two teams from the war-torn east of the country, Shaktar Donetsk and Metalist 1925, play out a 0-0 draw.
The result, though, was always going to be an afterthought.
It was the first top-level football match played in the country this year, and since Russia’s invasion in February.