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Ukraine's Donetsk Soccer Team To Play Future Home Games In Kharkiv


Shakhtar Donetsk players listen to the national anthem before a match in July in Odesa.

The Ukrainian soccer club Shakhtar Donetsk will play their future home games in the city of Kharkiv throughout the year, the club announced on January 30.

Shakhtar has not played in its home city since the start of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east in 2014, when Donetsk came under the control of separatists.

They played their home games in Lviv while training and living in the capital, Kyiv.

The games in Kharkiv, on an agreement until the end of 2017, will take place in the Metalist stadium, which like the Lviv arena hosted Euro 2012 games.

The first match is a Europa League last-32 return leg against Spain's Celta Vigo on February 23.

"The matches we held in Kharkiv have proved that there are many Shakhtar fans in this region. ... This will enable us to be closer to our fans, and I am convinced that we can make them happy with our spectacular performance and good results," Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin said.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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