The Ukrainian Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr. Oleksandr Balanutsa, said that the Ukrainian-Kuwaiti relations have developed significantly in recent years, which includes many aspects of bilateral cooperation such as culture, arts and sports. He indicated in a press conference held at the embassy during the visit of former Ukrainian international referee, Miroslav Stupar, that he is in contact with the Kuwaiti authorities to inform them of the latest developments in Ukraine.
Balanutsa also praised Kuwait’s humanitarian and material support through the United Nations, which are distributed between humanitarian, material and weapons aid, as European countries train the Ukrainian army to use weapons. He explained that sport is a bridge of communication between peoples, and that he had the idea of issuing the first book in Arabic about the Ukrainian coach Valery Lobanovsky, the so-called spiritual father of Ukrainian football.
He said that the book contains information for locals, indicating that the book took two years’ recollection of the coach’s memorabilia, adding that he visited many diwaniyas in search for info, and invited many Kuwaiti players the coach had interacted with. He also contacted the Ukrainian Football Federation and Dynamo Kyiv club to collect as much information as possible about coach Lobanovsky. The ambassador said that coach Lobanovsky has a great influence, imprint and achievements in the history of Kuwaiti football, as he had produced the best results achieved by the Kuwaiti national team and he is credited for the team’s access to the Asian Cup.
On another note, the former Ukrainian international referee, Miroslav Stupar, who had the famous incident in the France-Kuwait match during the 1982 World Cup, said that sport aims for peace, adding that Kuwait, like Ukraine, had lived under the aggression of invasion, as well. He expressed disappointment by Kuwait’s exit from the 25th Gulf Cup after its tie with Bahrain, while praising the hospitality that he felt in Kuwait.