Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says he and his fellow Brazilian players have refused to return to the Ukrainian champion because they “all run a deadly risk” by remaining in the war-torn country, Costa wrote on his Instagram page. “I like the club, the people, the city, but I’m afraid,” the 23-year-old said in comments posted alongside a picture of the Shakhtar badge. “We want to stay at the club, but we must have risk-free working conditions.”
Costa has been with Shakhtar since 2010, winning five straight Ukrainian titles and reaching the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League in 2010-11. He and fellow Brazilians Fred, Dentinho, Alex Teixiera and Ismaily, and the Argentine striker Facundo Ferreyra, remained in France following a friendly against Lyon on Saturday.
Pro-Russian rebels currently hold Donetsk, but Ukrainian forces are said to be advancing on the city, which is just 38 miles from the site where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed on Thursday with nearly 300 people on board.
Who can blame them? I won't. That part of Ukraine is a mess right now. And many in Shaktar are directly to blame for this as they have sowed the seeds of violence, rift with Kiev, rifts with western Ukraine for a long time already. So odd to think that UEFA's Euro 2012 was just a mere 25 months ago - with Donetsk one of the four Ukrainian host cities. Look no further than the very dodgy billionaire businessman who owns Shaktar to learn who to blame for all this wholly unnecessary unrest, now destruction and deaths too. There is a lesson here too: A club can splash money all around, attract exotic players, achieve league successes...and so what? So what? It all amounts to nothing. Good on these South Americans for, at this point, refusing to return. Maybe this form of protest will wake up Donetsk sympathizers who want to join Russia, wake them up to the utter folly of that.
People always vote with their feet. When people flee something with their feet, look at where they are leaving. Then look at where they hope to go. These simple observations inform a lot toward who is good (where is good) and where is/who is evil.