FC Kryvbas, a semi-professional women’s soccer team that fled the war in its home country of Ukraine, has found a refuge in Germany.
Training at the grounds of German Bundesliga club FC Cologne, the Ukrainian players will coach other amateur or professional Ukrainian athletes also stranded in Cologne, according to Reuters.
“Every large refugee center currently consists of 95 percent women with children of all ages, and these children could enjoy soccer training. That’s the vision we have,” Cologne Foundation member Thorsten Friedrich told the news outlet.
Most of the team members play professionally full-time, but some are still students.
“I am very glad we arrived here with all our team, that we managed to keep the team. But honestly speaking I cannot say that football is a priority for me now,” Kryvbas midfielder Liubov Mozga told the Associated Press. “Peace on our land is a priority for me now.”
The team had scheduled a training camp in Turkey to begin on Feb. 24. Prior to the war’s beginning, the club was third in the Ukrainian league. Competitions have since been suspended with no clear timeline for when they could resume.
Kryvbas captain Anna Ivanova said that her family’s safety remains at the top of her mind.
“Being here in a secure place, while your family is under shelling is very difficult,” Ivanova said. “We are worried for our families. They are in touch, they are hiding in bomb shelters. Unfortunately there are missiles flying, the sirens turn on, so their nights are not quiet. Same way, our nights aren’t quiet as well.”