Ukraine can be heroes at Hampden in a way that echoes beyond football | Jonathan Wilson

Wednesday’s World Cup playoff against Scotland might offer at least some comfort to those struggling back home

A cold night towards the end of 1993. A group of eight men huddled behind a pile of snow at the airport, waiting, anxious. The sprint was only 200 yards. They were professional athletes, physically fit. It should have been easy. On the other side of the airfield, one run through the darkness away, lay freedom and their mission. But they knew they were within range of Serbian snipers.

This was Fuad Muzurovic’s grand idea. He was the coach of FK Sarajevo and as the siege of his city dragged on he realised his players had a value beyond taking up arms and fighting on the frontline. He conceived the idea of a world tour, playing friendlies, raising awareness of the plight of civilians and the need for aid. The scheme was approved by the Bosnia government.

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