Ukraine star Andriy Yarmolenko has opened up about the turmoil he and his family have endured over the past few weeks with the The West Ham star is struggling to focus on football as Russia invades his home country.
The 32-year-old’s family were in Ukraine when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of the neighboring country, while Yarmolenko was training at West Ham.
He has now revealed he felt enormous guilt after sending his family to Kyiv for a doctor’s appointment and asking David Moyes to allow him to leave training to focus on their well-being.
“When it all started, on February 24th, I came to training and I couldn’t even speak. I shed tears. I asked the coach to let me go home,” he told Ukrainian YouTube channel Football 1/2/3.
“I didn’t think that could happen. I sent my family to Kyiv because my child had to go to the doctor.
“Can you imagine how I was when it started the next morning? I just wanted to run away and hit my head against a wall. What a fool that I sent my family to Kyiv and am now in London.”
Yarmolenko was released from West Ham to ensure his family’s safety and they have now returned to England after fleeing via Poland.
The winger has also returned to play for the Hammers and scored the opener in his first return leg against Aston Villa, sparking emotional scenes at the London Stadium.
He followed up with another goal in the 2-0 win over Sevilla to ensure the Hammers reached the last eight of the Europa League, but Yarmolenko admits that although football is a distraction for him, he can’t turn his back on the game conflicts in his home country.
“David Moyes told me I could choose whether or not to train and that I had to do everything I could to keep my family safe,” he added.
“I had to stay professional so I came back. I just went insane and you need a distraction. But even now I don’t know what the other results are. It’s just the training over and then the phone calls home.
“It’s really scary to talk about. We must help each other. If we don’t do it, nobody will.
“I am sure that no country will beat us. No one will ever be able to break our spirit.’
MORE : Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko cried after scoring against Aston Villa on return to West Ham team
MORE : Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko shoots at Russian players and taunts Artem Dzyuba
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/03/23/yarmolenko-left-in-tears-at-west-ham-training-after-sending-family-to-kyiv-16328285/ Yarmolenko left West Ham training in tears after sending his family to Kyiv