Where does FC Shakhtar Donetsk play? Ukrainian football team’s stadium now, is it located in Ukraine or Russia
Weeks of rising tension in Eastern Europe have raised questions amongst football fans regarding Shakhtar Donetsk, who regularly feature in the UEFA Champions League.
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The situation in Ukraine continues to dominate the global news cycle as onlookers across the world grow increasingly concerned about Russia’s build-up of military force.
The conflict has had far reaching implications beyond just politics and has cast doubt over what the future holds for a side that many football fans across Europe will be familiar with.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk have played in every season of the Ukrainian Premier League, which they have won 13 times, and have been regulars in the UEFA Champions League over the past two decades.
The team is located in the city of Donetsk, which is one of two eastern Ukrainian regions currently held by pro-Russian separatist groups.
Here is what that means for FC Shakhtar as their domestic season gets ready to restart following a winter break.
Where does FC Shakhtar Donetsk play?
The Donbass Arena is the official home of FC Shakhtar Donetsk but the club have not played there since May 2014.
The 52,000 plus stadium, which was opened in August 2009 and has hosted matches during UEFA Euro 2012, is not currently used by the football club due to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
From 2014 to 2016, Shakhtar played its home matches at the Arena Lviv then moved to the Metalist Stadium, home of Kharkiv FC.
Shakhtar have used FC Dynamo Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy National stadium since May 2020 as their home venue.
Kyiv is also where the club’s administrative headquarters and player training sessions are held.
The Donbass Arena was damaged during conflicts in 2014 after Shakhtar were forced to abandon but is gradually being repaired.
When does FC Shakhtar Donetsk play next?
The Ukrainian Premier League season will resume following the winter break despite weeks of rising military tensions.
The league is due to resume on Friday, 25 February following a two-month hiatus.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk have played several friendly matches over the past eight weeks against the likes of Kazakhstan's FC Astana and Hungary’s MTK Budapest.
Their last competitive fixture was a 2-1 away win against FC Oleksandriya on 11 December.
This Saturday, 26 February, they return to league action with an away match against FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv.
Are FC Shakhtar Donetsk located in Ukraine or Russia?
FC Shakhtar Donetsk are located in Ukraine. They play all their home matches in the country and represent them in European competitions.
Their official home stadium, the Donbass Arena, is located in land that is at the centre of an ongoing conflict that has been happening since 2014.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin formally recognised the two eastern Ukrainian regions currently held by pro-Russian separatist groups as independent states.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) respectively, made a direct appeal to Mr Putin where they asked for military aid as the situation in the regions becomes increasingly critical and the Russian leader informed his security council to seriously consider the appeals.
Mr Putin’s recognition of the two regions as independent states was the pretext to send Russian troops across the border.
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