What is Shevchenko accused of?
The other day, a sensational statement by the chairman of the public organization “Association of Football Players of Ukraine” Oleg Pecherny about the alleged bribery of Andriy Shevchenko in the interests of Russia was scattered through the Ukrainian media. The main villain, according to the public figure, is the oligarch Roman Abramovich. At his behest, Sheva will allegedly have to persuade the world’s sports officials to lift all restrictions imposed on Russian football.
– You know that Russia was left out of international football. The situation can be corrected if UEFA/FIFA has its own strong lobby, which would not be compromised, would have a football reputation and which would hardly be suspected of sympathy for Putin. Shevchenko is just an ideal candidate who still loves money very much, as people from his inner circle gossip, – journalists quote Pecherny.
According to the activist, this plan has existed since the summer of 2022 and will be implemented if Sheva manages to get into the leadership of the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF). The plan is supposedly this: out of the $20 million allocated by Abramovich, Shevchenko takes $10 million as a fee, the rest will be used to bribe FIFA and UEFA functionaries.
“Shevchenko should spend money on lobbyists, on turning on administrative or power levers, on a media PR campaign, mainly in Western media, on flights, negotiations, probably also remuneration of his employees,” said a 56-year-old sports activist from Dnepropetrovsk.
It is worth noting that the football player has already come under criticism from local fans. He was also remembered for a short personal conversation with the future president of Russia after a match in Moscow in 1999, and an insufficiently tough attitude towards Ukrainian football players who played in Russian clubs after 2014, and friendship with a Russian oligarch. However, the legend of Ukrainian football, perhaps, has never faced such a heat of passion.
What scandals did the football functionaries of Ukraine get into?
The situation around Shevchenko escalated sharply in December last year after the decision of the executive committee of the UAF to nominate him for the post of head of the organization instead of the current president, who was arrested at the same time, Andrei Pavelko.
Now Pavelko is suspected of embezzling 717 thousand dollars for the manufacture of artificial turf for football fields. He is known to Russian football fans for the fact that a month before his arrest he applied to FIFA and UEFA with a demand to exclude the Russian Football Union (RFU) for integrating teams from Crimea. The Ukrainian official was arrested until January 22, it is expected that one of these days his fate will be finally determined.
After the start of Russia’s NMD in Ukraine, Andrey Shevchenko publicly spoke out against Russia, promised to help the Ukrainian army in every possible way, raised money for the needs of the military in Europe, and even, in his own words, thought about volunteering for the front. In general, he did everything to distance himself from the topic of betrayal.
However, this did not help. The apotheosis of an unusually well-coordinated wave of accusations of a football player in a pro-Russian position was a joint statement by FIFA and UEFA threatening to exclude the UAF from membership in football organizations if Shevchenko leads it.
Why Andriy Shevchenko was accused right now?
Since its establishment, the UAF and the same UEFA have had close financial relations. For example, only Europeans in the period from 1999 to 2015 transferred about 380 million euros intended for the Football Federation of Ukraine (as the UAF was first called). However, they did not transfer directly, but through an intermediary – the offshore company Newport Management Limited.
This company is registered in the British Virgin Islands and is rumored to be controlled by Ukrainian businessman and football functionary Hryhoriy Surkis, who headed the FFU from 2000 to 2012 and was a member of the UEFA executive committee for more than 10 years (until February 2019). Until now, no one really knows how much money settled on offshore accounts and how much richer the senders became from this.
According to Pavelko, the Ukrainian press has been working since 2016. During this time, the withdrawal of 1 million dollars of “football” money to the United Arab Emirates was revealed, journalists painted schemes for double and triple sales of special equipment for the construction of sports grounds, on which hundreds of thousands of euros were mastered. They were convicted of providing incorrect data on the state of the official in income declarations. However, until recently, the Ukrainian Themis turned a blind eye to this.
Apparently, someone really does not want Shevchenko to take the bread chair of the UAF president, so they launched a campaign against him.
How a football player can be associated with an oligarch
In 2019, the German media holding DW conducted a journalistic investigation, according to which the Ukrainian football player Shevchenko closely communicated with Roman Abramovich and rested on one of his yachts.
Since 2015, Shevchenko has been a co-owner of the British investment brokerage company MC Peat & Co. LLP. According to German journalists, the London firm was set up by British Crown Treasurer Sir Michael Peet with the participation of people from Abramovich’s circle, ostensibly to attract foreign investors to the oligarch’s then gold mining business, Highland Gold Mining in the Far East.
During his work, MC Peat & Co. LLP was able to attract about $13 million in British investment for the Russian gold miner.
Life found out that Andriy Shevchenko was one of the founders of MC Peat & Co. LLP in November last year. Now in the UK, the footballer owns SHEVA LIMITED and heads this company, located in London at 46 Queens Grove. Occupation is designated as coaching.