Oleksandr Petrakov has been criticised by the Russian Football Union ©Getty Images

The Russian Football Union (FUR) has called for UEFA to ban the national coach of Ukraine, Oleksandr Petrakov, for discrimination after he said in an interview that he would pick up arms and defend the capital Kyiv following the invasion by Russia.

In April, 65-year-old Petrakov told The Guardian that "if they come to Kyiv, I will pick up a weapon and defend my city".

"I think I could take two or three enemies out," he added.

The FUR has written to UEFA calling this discrimination against their countrymen and accusing Petrakov of failing to remain politically neutral.

Petrakov attempted to join Ukraine's territorial defence forces during the invasion in February but was advised against this due to his age and lack of military experience.

He nearly took the nation to the FIFA World Cup with a victory over Scotland, only to fall in the final playoff against Wales.

Last night, Ukraine met Scotland again in the UEFA Nations League, with Scotland winning 3-0.

FUR deputy secretary general Denis Rogachev led calls for Petrakov to be sanctioned in the letter to UEFA.

"The statements by the head coach of the Ukrainian representative football team, Oleksandr Petrakov, are made against the background of the political conflict between the two countries - Russia and Ukraine - and represents a political message which obviously violates the fundamental principle of political neutrality," it read.

"Moreover, the head coaches behaviour can be regarded as involvement on promoting public hatred on a national basis and the use of football to assert political views."

Oleksandr Petrakov has been national team manager since August 2021 ©Getty Images
Oleksandr Petrakov has been national team manager since August 2021 ©Getty Images

The Ukrainian Football Association responded, saying the coach was ready to "defend his land."

"When his country was attacked by invading inhumans, [Petrakov] was ready to defend his land, his women and children," read the statement.

"He was not accepted into the army due to his lack of military experience, but his step is a testament to his devotion to the country and patriotism.

"What kind of discrimination can we talk about in relation to a nation that deliberately commits genocide against another nation?"

Russia is currently banned, alongside Belarus, by UEFA for their involvement in the invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus will be allowed to compete in qualification for Euro 2024, however this same privilege has not been given to Russia.