Sport: Unconditional Release

There was no joy in Odessa. Telephones rang and excited voices demanded, "Give us back Kudymenko, Zhigan and Sevastyanov!" The staid Soviet trade-union newspaper Trud headlined excitedly: "Kidnaping in Odessa." Three of the city's leading football (i.e., soccer) heroes —as dear to Odessa as Williams to Boston or Feller to Cleveland—had disappeared.

A few days later, the mystery was cleared up. Kudymenko, Zhigan and Sevastyanov popped up in the line-up of the Kiev Dynamo team, which needed extra strength for a big game with Leningrad. No matter how loudly they squawked, Odessa fans could do no more about it than Detroit fans...

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