Six Ukrainian Football Players Refuse To Return Home After Friendly In France
With their home city currently held by Rebel separatists, as many as six players on the Shakhtar Donetsk football team have refused to return home following a friendly match in France over the weekend.
The Ukrainian army is attempting to regain control of the contested city, but for players Alex Teixeira, Fred, Dentinho, Douglas Costa, Facundo Ferreyra and Ismaily things were still too unpredictable to fly home after a game in Lyon.
The players may face sanctions if they refuse to return home, warned club president Rinat Akhmetov, who cited their club contracts in a statement urging them to return.
Five of the six players under warning are of Brazilian nationality, with the sixth, Ferreyra, being a native of Argentina. The players are estimated to have a market value of £46 million.
As a result of the ongoing conflict the Shakhtar squad are unable to play games in their home stadium, the Donbass Arena.
The new football season is slated to begin this weekend and the Ukrainian Football Federation has yet to decide how the team will proceed with the inability to play matches on their home field.