The Hammers squad have shown their support for an absent colleague as the conflict in his homeland continues to rage

West Ham warmed up for their Premier League clash against Wolves in t-shirts with Andriy Yarmolenkos name emblazoned across the back after the winger was granted compassionate leave due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine earlier in the week after months of stationing troops on the countrys borders.

In response to the conflict in his homeland, Yarmolenko, who has won 106 caps for Ukraine to date, saw his request for time off granted by West Ham and the squad paid a moving tribute to their absent team-mate at the London Stadium on Sunday.

David Moyes 22-man group emerged from the tunnel to start warming up before hosting Wolves wearing the Yarmolenko jerseys, much to the delight of the home fans that had already taken to their seats.

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West Ham also put up an image of the 32-year-old on the electronic display outside of the stadium with the message: “Sending love and prayers to Andriy Yarmolenko and the people of Ukraine.”


Moyes explained why Yarmolenko had been granted leave during an official statement, acknowledging that the Ukrainian star is going through a “really difficult time”.

“He’s not in a really good position at the moment, I’ve got to say,” said Moyes. “We’ve given him a few days off and that’s totally understandable.

“It’s very difficult but I’ve asked him if there is anything we can do for him and if there is, we’ll certainly help him. It’s a really difficult time for him and his family and we respect that.”

Moyes has also discussed the importance of West Ham and the rest of the Premier League standing behind Yarmolenko and the people of Ukraine.

“The message from football is a great message. The message from the Premier League and the players is a great message,” he said to Sky Sports before the Wolves game.

“Football is so important through the world. The Premier League is screened in every country of the world so everything we can do to tell everyone this is wrong is really important.

“I am pleased the players are supporting Andriy Yarmolenko as we all are but more importantly that we are all supporting Ukraine.”

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