The 2012 Donbass Arena was one of the venues for the European Football Championship organized by Poland and Ukraine. It was built in 2009, and the construction cost amounted to 400 million dollars. The stadium, which hosted the semi-final match between Spain and Portugal, was also the new home of Shakhtar Donetsk for some time. Today, this facility is a far cry from what it looked like back then.
Donbass Square destroyed by the Russians. “Everywhere there is decay and death”
The beginning of the decline of the Donbass Arena was in 2014, when the stadium was shot down after the Russians entered Donetsk. At that time, pictures of the damaged object, which was no longer fit for use, circulated around the world. At present, the situation is equally bad, as it is affected by the ongoing war. The proof is a video posted on social media by Oleg Barkov, Shakhtar’s spokesperson and PR specialist. “Donbass Arena. It’s hard to watch without tears. Where there is ‘Russian peace’, there is decay and death everywhere. But we will definitely come back,” the description read.
The surroundings of the stadium are overgrown with weeds, and in the distance you can see broken windows. This facility is out of use and is nothing like the place where the European Championship was played 11 years ago, and nine years ago Shakhtar played matches. “9 years ago everything was fine. And now – the grass, the weeds, the rusty entrance… These are the Russian owners. Everything will be destroyed, everything will be destroyed,” Vitaly Ovchenko, who is firmly linked to the Donetsk team, stressed on social media.
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This situation meant that Shakhtar had to look for a new place where he could play league matches, but above all, matches in European cups. Last season, the Ukrainian champion played the Champions League matches at the Legia Warsaw stadium. Now the arena for the Donetsk team’s struggle will be the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.
In the last edition of the Champions League, Shakhtar will compete in Group H, where it will face Barcelona, Porto and Royal Antwerp.
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