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Shakhtar donate £22m to war efforts as Chelsea agree to Donbas friendly

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Jan 2023

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Shakhtar Donetsk have donated one billion UAH (£22.4million) to the war efforts in Ukraine following’s Mykhaylo Mudryk move to Chelsea.
Chelsea confirmed the signing of Mudryk on Sunday in a deal that could reach £89m, making it the most expensive transfer in Ukrainian football history.
Around a quarter of that will go to helping with Ukraine’s war with Russia, while Chelsea have also agreed to play Shakhtar in a friendly in Donbas as part of the agreement once the war is over.
Reigning Ukrainian champions Shakhtar are currently unable to play at their 50,000-capacity Donbass Arena in Donetsk due to the conflict in the region.
In an open letter released on the club’s website on Monday, Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov gave more details on the Mudryk transfer and paid tribute to the Ukrainian army.
“First of all, I want to thank the whole civilised world for helping Ukraine,” he said. “Thanks to the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people and the huge support of the entire civilised world, we can talk about Ukrainian football today. Only together we will defeat the evil that has come to our home.
“I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him. This guy proved by his own example that the impossible can become possible thanks to talent and hard work. I am absolutely sure that all of Europe will applaud Mykhaylo’s bright, beautiful playing.
“On the other hand, I have never hidden that my dream is to win European trophies. This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, our Ukrainian championship, and win European trophies with such players, and not cheer for them, even when they play in the best clubs in the world.
“Unfortunately, this is not possible now, because there is a vile, unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. But I am convinced that we will win. And we will play a friendly match with Chelsea at Donbas Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine. We must do everything possible to bring this day closer.

“That is why I decided to launch the “Heart of Azovstal” project – to help the defenders of Mariupol and the families of fallen soldiers. Their feat has no analogues in modern history. It is thanks to them, their sacrifice and courage in restraining the enemy in the first months of the war that today we all feel the inevitability of the Victory of Ukraine.

“Today, I allocate 1 billion hryvnias to help our soldiers and defenders, as well as their families. They will be aimed at various needs – from treatment, psychological assistance, prosthetics to the implementation of targeted requests.

“In order to comply with the principles of transparency, a professional, independent team will be formed, which will interact with the defenders of “Azovstal”, their families, patronage services, and volunteers. We are in eternal debt to our soldiers!”

New signing Mudryk was paraded in front of supporters at half-time of Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday after signing an eight-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Ukraine international is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in world football and he is looking forward to beginning a new chapter in English football.

“I’m so happy to sign for Chelsea,” he told Chelsea’s official website. “This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career.

“I’m excited to meet my new team-mates and I’m looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff.”

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