Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's most famous footballer, has announced his retirement from football and his entrance into the political field.

There was speculation that he would join Vitaliy Klitschko's party 'Udar' following conversations between Shevchenko and Klitschko yesterday. But Shevchenko today confirmed that he was joining the 'Ukraine - Forward!' party led by Natalia Korolevska, which is one of the smaller opposition parties. Shevchenko said,

"I have decided to join the team of Natalia Korolevska, because Ukraine-Forward! is a party of the future, a party of young leaders, a certain choice between the past and the future. In politics, I'm planning to support the social sphere and sports, because my main motto is 'a sound mind in a sound body."

Political commentators are still analysing the implications of the decision - both for the Party of the Regions and for the other opposition parties. It is likely that Shevchenko will be one of 'Ukraine - Forward!'s leading candidates and certainly in the top five.

Football fans are less sure that Shevchenko has made the right decision, with several comments on internet fora saying that he could have made a more valuable contribution training a new generation of football champions.

For more on this story in English, click here and in Ukrainian, click here.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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