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Owned Goals: Ukrainian Hope and Pain at Euro 2024

In the third episode of TNR’s soccer podcast, we discuss Ukraine’s exit from Euro 24, American soccer coverage, and the highs and lows of two weeks of nonstop soccer.

A soccer team wearing yellow jerseys stands behind a Ukrainian flag.
Carl Recine/Getty Images
The Ukrainian national team shortly before drawing 0–0 with Belgium and being eliminated from Euro 2024

In the lead-up to Euro 2024, both pundits and the tournament’s organizers expected the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has been stuck in a bloody stalemate for over a year, to be at the center of the conversation. Public support for Ukraine is on the wane in Europe—far-right parties are ascendent in many countries, and several are pro-Russia, or at least skeptical that the European Union and its member countries should continue providing military and humanitarian aid. And yet, the war in Ukraine has barely factored into coverage of the tournament. Now that Ukraine has crashed out of the competition—winning a respectable four points but finishing fourth in its group on goal difference—it’s unlikely that Russia’s invasion will receive any further coverage or factor in at all. In this episode, we discuss why that is—and what it says about support in the West for Ukraine. We also recap the big moments in the Copa América, discuss the Biden campaign’s efforts to use soccer to appeal to young men and Latino voters, and complain about the worst pundit in world sports.