Foreign Players Abandon Two Ukrainian Clubs Following Plane Crash
At least seven foreign players for Ukrainian football sides Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv "have refused to return to the country as tensions mount after the Malaysia Airlines crash," according to the AFP. Six players for champions Donetsk and an Argentine with Metalist Kharkiv are "too worried for their safety." The ITAR-TASS news agency reported the six Donetsk players "refused to fly back to Ukraine after their side were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in a friendly Saturday in the French town of Annecy." Meanwhile, R-Sport reported Argentine Metalist Kharkiv midfielder Sebastian Blanco "refused to return to Ukraine from a training camp in Austria" (AFP, 7/20). In London, Aaron Flanagan wrote French network Canal+ reported the players "are refusing to return to the Ukraine because of political turmoil." The five Donetsk players named are Douglas Costa, Fred, Dentinho and Alex Teixiera of Brazil and Argentine Facundo Ferreyra (DAILY MIRROR, 7/20).