Monday, January 30, 2023



Shakhtar Donetsk, the champion without a home – PlayOn99 News



The Ukrainian team suffered the loss of their stadium and the expansion of the war makes them wonder if they will continue to play in the Ukrainian Premier League. Crimea, shelling, and Brazilians, wrapped up in a story that takes a thousand twists and turns – PlayOn99 News

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Shakhtar Donetsk was founded in 1936 but became known to the world for winning the UEFA Europa League in the 2008-09 season.

That year it consolidated its transformation into the second most important team in Ukraine after the dissolution of the USSR. Dynamo Kyiv, its great rival in the Ukrainian derby, had overtaken it by almost 15 years.

The Donetsk team won 13 of the last 20 Ukrainian leagues – the other 7 went to Dynamo – and is the current tournament champion, but does not play at its home stadium.

Donbas Arena was inaugurated in August 2009, just two months after its European conquest, to become a UEFA Elite stadium.

The stadium, located in the Donbas area, hosted Euro 2012, which was organized between Ukraine and Poland.

Shakhtar, the current leader of the tournament that was suspended, lives from afar the dispute for the independence of Donetsk, a territory where more Russian than Ukrainian is spoken.

But what happened to the home of Shakhtar Donetsk?

May 2, 2014, was the last time the mining team played at its stadium. On that day, the area suffered several bombings amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the framework of Crimea’s accession to Russian territory.

The conflict over Crimea was the prequel to what these two European countries are experiencing today, but it was also the prelude to what the Ukrainian champion team is experiencing today.

Donbas Arena was attacked and suffered material damage, but by that time the team had already gone far away. Lviv, Kharkiv, and finally Kyiv were the cities that adopted Shakhtar in the last 8 years.

It was there that Shakhtar became champions several times while sharing the city with its biggest rival at the national level. The Brazilian players, characteristic of the two greats of this tournament, came together in the framework of this war.

The Ukraine Premier League was suspended until further notice and the Brazilian players of Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv recorded a video asking the Brazilian authorities to make arrangements to repatriate them.

There is a precedent, although a little more conflictive: in 2014, when the civil war began in Eastern Ukraine and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, several South Americans who were in Shakhtar Donetsk decided not to return to the country.

Facundo Ferreyra, Alex Teixeira, Douglas Costa, Dentinho, Ismaily, and Fred, now a Manchester United player, played for Shakhtar Donetsk in France against Lyon but decided to stay in the Gallic country and not return for fear of their safety.

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