Around 45 Ukrainian teenagers who were forced to flee their home country will be attending the Scotland vs Ukraine match tonight. They will be supporting Ukraine’s national football team, who are going head to head with the Scotland squad.
Many of the kids attending are “very into football”, according to Dnipro Kids chairman Stevie Carr, who said they were keen to watch their team play.
The Scottish FA and Ukrainian FA both worked together to arrange tickets for the group, who will be accompanied by around 15 carers and charity workers.
Before the match, the children will take part in a football tournament at their school - Castle Brae High School.
Mr Carr said: “The kids are settling into school very nicely and the school is looking after them well. They have been made to feel very welcome”.
While the teenagers will be supporting Ukraine, the 54-year-old chairman told STV news that he would “love Scotland to win”.
However, he said: “But it’s going to be a bittersweet victory if we do win because, obviously, everybody is 100% behind Ukraine with what’s going on and I don’t think anybody would be too disappointed if Scotland did get beat and Ukraine went onto qualify for the World Cup.
“I don’t think anybody in Scotland would be overly perturbed by that situation. It’ll be a disappointment, but well done to Ukraine and all the best in qualifying.”
Earlier this year, the charity evacuated 52 children from five orphanages in Dnipro, and brought them over to Scotland.
Dnipro Kids was set up in 2005 by Hibs fans, following a UEFA Cup trip to the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
Over the years, the charity has helped provide healthcare, clothing, beds and other essentials to orphanages in the city.