Kyiv locals put Ukraine’s defeat into context after World Cup near miss | Dan Sabbagh

It is hard to argue for the primacy of football with onlookers in the pub off-duty from fighting on the frontlineWatching football in downtown Kyiv turns out to be a more unusual experience than standing at the back of the sweaty rammed bars of back home. Wales’s 1-0 victory is greeted with a subdued stoicism by the locals, and, of course, there is a war on, which sets the football experience in a different context. You learn that as you soon as you start talking to anybody watching.The first fan I turn to for a post-game reaction, Alexander, 25, works for a morgue in the country’s second city of Kharkiv, and is in Kyiv for the weekend. Six bodies a day arrive in the facility, including Russian soldiers who are exchanged for Ukrainian dead. He offers to show me pictures, which I immediately decline.

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