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Football’s ‘Death Match’: Of pride and honour, of life and death

This August marked the 69th anniversary of probably the most despicable and dastardly moment in football history, a day that has haunted people, young and old, from Kiev for generations. Yet, this is a tale not widely known outside of the Soviet states apart from the movies made on the tragic events of Kiev. Its a story of footballers from Kiev(predominantly from Dynamo Kiev) who defeated Nazi Germany. Its about the tragedy that struck these footballers who were cruelly killed by the Nazi’s, all for what? For beating Nazi football teams and challenging the might and the sense of superiority of the Nazi’s.

A monument in honour of the players who played the ill-fated ‘Death Match’.

The Beginning

It all dates back to the summer of 1942 when the Nazi regime overthrew the Stalin regime in the city of Kiev. Stalin for long had supressed the Ukranians for his fear that Ukraine might seperate out of his huge communist empire, hence resorting to terrorising the nationalists but even Stalin hadn’t forseen what was going to happen. In June 1941, the Nazi forces invaded and took control of Kiev in attempt to decimate the Russian empire eventually resorting to malevolent attrocities on the people. The local football scene had been completely decimated by the new forces forcing most footballers to work in other industries.

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