Football star Andrei Schevchenko said he was "upset" by the recent resignation of the coach of Ukraine's national team, Myron Markevych, according to interview comments made public Monday.
"I had developed excellent, warm relations with him," Shevchenko said in Sunday evening post-game remarks published by his side Dynamo Kiev. "It is a great pity that Myron Bohdanovych (Markevych) took the decision. But it was his to make."
Markevych on Saturday declared he was quitting his job as head coach of Ukraine's national team "on moral grounds," alleging the club he also coaches, Metalist Kharkiv, was the victim of bias on the part of senior officials in the of the Ukraine football federation (FFU), DPA reported.
Markevych's decision leaves the national team without a coach, less than two years before the Euro 2012 tournament, which the Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland.
Three Metalist players on Sunday announced they would not play for the national team, because of their agreement with Markevych's position, according to a Channel 24 television news report.
The FFU, the organisation controlling Ukrainian football, on Sunday made public a statement rejecting Markevych's resignation on grounds he submitted the resignation by fax.
Markevych's contract terms with the FFU do not allow a resignation on "moral terms," but FFU voting members will meet on Wednesday to discuss Markevych's allegations, according to the statement, made public on the FFU website.
Ukraine assistant coach Yury Kalitvintsev was a possible candidate to replace Markevych, Shevchenko said in the interview.
The FFU last week last week deducted nine points from Metalist Kharkiv and Karpaty Lviv and fined both clubs for fixing a 2008 match result.
The deduction dropped Metalist's place in current league standings from fourth to fifth place, and moved Ukraine's best-known club, Dynamo Kiev, from fifth to fourth place.
Markevych, 59, alleged FFU head Hryhory Surkis engineered the point deduction for Metalist, to improve Dynamo's chances of participating in Champions' League or Europa League competition in 2011, at Metalist's expense.
Surkis, a Ukrainian industrial tycoon, has owned and operated the side Dynamo Kiev since 1994, and headed the FFU since 2000. He had by Monday afternoon made no public comments on Markevych's allegations.
Surkis in past comments has repeatedly denied his position as FFU head benefits Dynamo in Ukraine top-flight competition. His critics have alleged the dual positions held by Surkis constitute a conflict of interest.