Rukh Lynnyky forward Victor Solomon-Otabor has recounted the scary road trip to Poland while fleeing Ukraine, following the countryâ€™s invasion by Russia last week, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
On Thursday, Russia launched a military invasion on Ukraine after they tore up a 2014 peace deal sending forces across borders in Ukraineâ€™s north and south â€“ which has left several Ukrainians scampering for safety.
Ukrainians have been fleeing their country to neigbouring Lithuanian, Poland and Moldova to escape from the brewing war.
Solomon-Otabor, who has one Nigeria cap, joined Ukrainian Premier Liga side Rukh Lynnyky in January on a six months deal after a short stint at Scottish side St.Johnstone, said he drove with his teammates from his Lviv base in Ukraine for about six hours, passing several road blocks to Poland amid fear of being attacked.
â€œI managed to get back to the United Kingdom through Poland by road, but I was scared throughout the journey,â€ Solomon-Otabor told PUNCH Sports Extra exclusively.
â€œIn our region, there was no attack on our city. There was just curfew around but itâ€™s not very nice when your loved ones are becoming too worried about you.
â€œSo, I had to leave when the Ukrainian federation suspended the league.
â€œAt some point, during the journey, I was scared of us being attacked. We left just when the attack was about starting on Thursday.
â€œWe had some stops but they were just routine checks. The journey was very quiet.â€
Ukraineâ€™s domestic season was scheduled to resume this weekend, but will now remain suspended amid the invasion but Solomon-Otabor prays football returns to the Eastern European country soon.
The 25-year-old, who had previously featured for Levski Sofia in Bulgaria, only featured in seven league games for Rukh Lynnyky, boasting just one assist.
â€œI hope this crisis stops soon and it will be resolved soon. We do not know when but war is not the answer.â€
Our correspondent learnt that some other Nigerian footballers in Ukraine are yet to leave the country.
Solomon-Otaborâ€™s U-19 teammate Michael Obamina and Michael Stephen, John Chukwufumnanya, Bright Essien and Henry Paago are still in Ukraine.
â€œMichael is with our U-19 team, he is a Nigerian and he did not travel with me because like I said Lviv is safe at the moment, but who knows,â€ Solomon-Otabor added.