Six Shakhtar players refuse to return to Ukraine
The crash of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has had an impact worldwide and even football players now seem to be shaken up by this horrific incident.
Six players from Shakhtar Donetsk have refused to return to Ukraine following their pre-season action in France, according to reports.
The six players: Brazilians Douglas Costa, Fred, Dentinho, Alex Teixiera and Ismaily along with Argentine forward Facundo Ferreyra have chosen to remain away from the conflict-torn Ukrainian city.
The Ukrainian military is currently engaged in an operation to retake the city of Donetsk in the east of the country, which at the moment is controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov was enraged by the action of these half a dozen players and thus have gone on to issue a warning to all the six on the club’s official website.
A strict warning was issued via the club’s site, in which Akhmetov says: "Players have contracts that they have to abide by. If they do not come, I think, they will be the first to suffer. Each of them has a minimum release clause, which is tens of millions of euros.
"If someone wants to reduce this amount by a million, then such a decision is our right."
Akhmetov further goes on to assure the players that there was nothing to fear when it comes to playing in the nation.
"Hopefully, the mind and heart will prevail over a misunderstanding, and the players will not follow temptation and fear," said the Shakhtar president.
"We are ready to provide security. We will not take risks and in any case we won't bring players to dangerous places."
Shakhtar are due to play in the curtain raiser for the Ukrainian season with a game against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday in the Ukrainian Super Cup.
With unrest raging over their hometown of Donetsk, Shakhtar will not be able to host games as of now in their Donbass Arena stadium.
They are scheduled to host Metalurh Zaporizhya in their first league of the season this weekend. However, it is still unclear where the game will be played.
Akhmetov himself has proposed to take the games to Kharkiv, a city over 150 miles north of Donetsk.
European football’s governing body, UEFA had already declared that all games to be hosted by Ukranian teams in the Champions League and Europa League will be hosted in the four cities of Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Kiev and Lviv.
The six players are currently AWOL and currently unaccounted for in France.