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Ukraine crisis: Shakhtar Donetsk play on despite conflict

Ukraine crisis: Shakhtar Donetsk play on despite conflict
ukraine-crisis-shakhtar-donetsk-play-on-despite-conflict


European football's top competition seems a Cheap Boston Bruins Authentic Jersey world away from the bitter war in eastern Ukraine. And Ukraine's champions have had to flee their home at the centre of the conflict to survive. Shakhtar Donetsk are normally based in the biggest city held by pro-Russian separatists, who took control of Donetsk in April and have been battling Ukrainian forces ever since. Despite the turmoil, Shakhtar have qualified for the knockout stages of the Uefa Champions League and face the prospect of taking on one of Europe's biggest clubs, Bayern Munich, in the last 16. The club has to play home games 600 miles (966 km) away from its normal home at the Donbass Arena, in the western city of Lviv. Meanwhile, its administrative headquarters and player training sessions have been relocated to the capital, Kiev. Hearts and minds In stark contrast to the rebel-held city that Shakhtar hail from, Lviv has a far stronger sense of patriotism than any other city of Ukraine. Every family here has a friend or relative Rangers Brian Leetch Womens Jersey fighting in the east or is making donations to government soldiers, Mayor Andriy Sadoviy told the BBC. Beside Ukraine's yellow and blue national flags fly the red and black flags of Ukraine's most radical nationalist movement, Right Sector, which took part in violent protests that toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. So there was some concern that Shakhtar's choice of Lviv Arena as a new home ground would be met with hostility. Instead, locals have welcomed the decision, seeing Shakhtar Donetsk as a European club representing the whole of Ukraine. "They are renting the stadium, so everything is legal," said Natalia, a teacher. "They didn't just turn up and play here. They came from the east but that's just geography," she added. Playing at the Donbass Arena is out of the question. It had just been built when England played France and Ukraine in Euro 2012, but it has sustained serious damage from shelling. As a result, the club has been losing earnings Blackhawks Michal Rozsival Youth Jersey from ticket sales and merchandise while facing stadium hire fees of at least $8,000 (£5,000), local media said. "All commercial income is tied to the place where you play," says Shakhtar's general director Sergey Palkin. "From there you build other sources of income step by step. At the moment, we have lost everything, and only time will tell whether we'll be able to rescue the situation." But Mr Palin stresses there are no financial problems at the club and salaries are being paid on time. Shakhtar's owner and one of Ukraine's richest men, Rinat Akhmetov, has said that damage to the $100m (€80m) stadium is nothing compared to the more than 4,000 lives lost in the conflict. Analysts say Mr Akhmetov, a former Donetsk resident, is playing a political balancing act. While the oligarch has avoided publicly http://www.nhlofficial.com/custom-nhl-jerseys-c-554.html taking sides in the Ukrainian conflict, he has been providing humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people of Donbass.

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