Shevchenko resigns as Ukraine NOC vice-president after one day

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Shevchenko resigns as Ukraine NOC vice-president after one day, as pro-Russians follow

Ukrainian football great Andriy Shevchenko has stepped down as the vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU) after just one day, saying he was dissatisfied with working on a Board of Directors with individuals who are regarded as pro-Russian.

The former Chelsea and AC Milan striker made the statement on Facebook and although he did not name the individuals, they are believed to be politician Nestor Shufrych and former Dynamo Kyiv football club head Hryhoriy Surkis.

However, Shufrych and Surkis soon stepped down from their Board positions in response.

Shevchenko also played over 100 league games for Dynamo Kyiv as a player when Surkis was the President.

On his personal page on Facebook, he stated he could not remain on the NOCU Board "with such a line-up".

"At the most difficult time in the history of my country, I am proud to stand by Ukraine and help everything I can for our victory," said Shevchenko.

"I consider it an honourable job in the National Olympic Committee, I understand the importance of its development.

"At the same time, I can't stay in the NOC warehouse for such a line-up. 

"We pay an infinitely high price for our freedom with the lives of the best of Ukrainians. 

Within the hour, Shufrych and Surkis tendered their resignation from the Board.

"Hryhoriy Surkis and Nestor Shufrych to leave the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine," read an NOCU statement.

"They have already addressed the relevant statements to the President of the NOC Vadym Huttsait."

insidethegames can reveal Shufrych was nominated by the Ukrainian Archery Federation.

Shufrych is a member of the now-banned Opposition Platform - For Life party, a pro-Russian, eurosceptic group and has been aligned with Russophile groups since entering politics.

On March 4, just a week after the invasion of Ukraine started, Shufrych was arrested for allegedly providing Russian Armed Forces with locations and other intel of Ukrainian soldiers.

Surkis was the President of Dynamo Kyiv from 1993 to 2002, before passing the responsibility onto his brother Ihor Surkis.

He was also the Football Federation of Ukraine President from 2000 to 2012.

Both had fled Ukraine in the early days of the invasion, believed to have turned up in Monaco.

Hryhoriy Surkis was also affiliated with the Opposition Platform - For Life.

Vadym Huttsait, who is also Ukraine's Sports Minister, was elected President yesterday with over 80 per cent of the vote - replacing Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, who served 17 years in the role.

Shevchenko and the other Board members - such as Surkis, Shufrych, world long jump silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and professional boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk - were approved collectively to the Board rather than as individuals.

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