Thousands of Generous Ukrainians Offer Free Accommodation for Champions League Fans
Hotels inflated their prices
Thousands of residents are offering a place in their homes through the Kyiv Free Couch Facebook group so the city’s guests can appreciate the city’s beauty without emptying their bank accounts in the process.
While in the city, the thousands of expected visitors will not only cheer on the much-anticipated match between Liverpool and Real Madrid, but also soak in the sights of the Kyiv and spend some money.
But many of the city’s hotels have tried to get too much out of the tourists. Unethical businesses pratices have inflated accommodation prices by as much as a hundred times over and many guests of the city lost their bookings entirely.
But if there is one thing the people of Kyiv know how to do, it is how to step up when big establishments fail. A grassroots movement has sprung up of Kyivans offering spots on their couches to football fans who need a place to stay. They want to show the best side of their city. Nearly 5,000 people are already part of the Kyiv Free Couch group on Facebook.
Even politicians are getting in on it. Euromaidan veteran and MP Yegor Sobolev and his wife, TV presenter Marichka Padalko, have joined the movement. The family’s close connection to football gives them extra motivation to help foreign guests.
“And so I think hosting people just for a few days, it’s like having fun, giving people knowledge about what people in Ukraine are like. And another reason is my son. He is a football player himself and he is a big Liverpool fan. And he is very heartbroken these days because he is leaving for Barcelona as a football player and will miss Liverpool fans coming to Kiev and the Liverpool team coming to Kyiv,” Sobolev said.
It’s these sorts of grassroots initiatives that are sure to leave a positive impression of Ukraine on fans, long after the Champions League Final in Kyiv has ended.