Poland’s captain Robert Lewandowski will wear a special captain’s armband draped in the colours of Ukraine at the upcoming world cup to show solidarity with the war-ravaged country.

Lewandowski and the Polish FA were one of the first captain and board duos to refuse to play against Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. They even dropped an integral member, Maciej Rybus, from this year’s World Cup squad after the defender signed a contract with Russia’s Spartak Moscow.

Former Ukrainian international Andriy Shevchenko presented the armband to the Barcelona striker at Warsaw’s national stadium who will wear it at the biggest footballing stage to symbolically represent Ukraine in Qatar.

Ukraine, led by Andriy Yarmolenko, came to within a game of reaching this year’s World Cup but fell short after losing to Wales. 

“I am going to wear Ukraine’s colours at the Qatar World Cup,” Lewandowski said. “I’ll wear Shevchenko’s armband at the World Cup in November as a reminder that the people of Ukraine are not alone and remain in our thoughts.

“Being here with Andriy means a lot to me.”

Former Chelsea and AC Milan striker Shevchenko played for Ukraine 111 times scoring 48 goals. He represented Dynamo Kyiv before making his name abroad and now has been raising funds to rebuild his country following the invasion.

Poland is in Group C with Argentina, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia as its other members.

Russia is banned by FIFA and UEFA from all its footballing competitions until further notice following their actions.

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