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Shakhtar Donetsk Claims FIFA Rule Is Hurting Teams From Ukraine

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Shakhtar and the opposite Ukrainian teams are still required to pay money owed to groups outside the country, including for players which have been allowed to suspend their contracts.

Palkin described an example of 1 situation through which the team agreed to sign a player from an Italian team just before the Russian invasion. The player never set foot in Ukraine and was allowed to maneuver elsewhere, leaving Shakthar on the hook for about $9 million. It asked his former team to scrap the deal and to sell him elsewhere, but those talks floundered. Shakhtar has balked on the payment, Palkin said, and the club, which he declined to call, is asking FIFA to punish Shakhtar.

Palkin said efforts to return to an arrangement with FIFA have largely been met with silence. Multiple Ukrainian teams have asked the governing body to suspend their obligations to other clubs until normal operations will be established. He also suggested FIFA, which announced it had made $7.5 billion from the World Cup in Qatar, could also establish “a reparation fund” for Ukrainian teams.

Shakhtar, which is owned by the billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, has the best payroll amongst Ukrainian teams. But it is usually benefiting from playing within the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition. Its home games are played across the border in Poland and have provided a lucrative — and far needed — financial boost, in addition to providing a platform for its domestically reared talent, which, unlike foreign players, will not be capable of suspend their contracts.

That has allowed Palkin to try to negotiate player sales ahead of the opening of the midseason European player trading window next month. He attended meetings in London recently with English clubs fascinated with signing forward Mykhailo Mudryk, 21, who is taken into account to be certainly one of European soccer’s biggest emerging talents.

Palkin said he’s conscious of teams trying to reap the benefits of his team’s situation and is unwilling to be forced to sell for a below-market price despite the continued hardship. Meaning Mudryk could remain with Shakhtar until next summer’s off-season, a time when the most important trades are typically made. “It’s quite a protracted negotiation process,” he said.

The Ukrainian league is currently on break for the winter and is scheduled to restart in March. By then, there needs to be a resolution in Shakhtar’s case against FIFA.

“We wish to take a seat along with all of the stakeholders and work out a plan,” Palkin said. “And we wish fairness and justice.”

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