Shakhtar Donetsk coach De Zerbi laments Ukrainian league suspension

Date: 25th February 2022 at 9:04am
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Former Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi is disappointed with the lack of clarity regarding the suspension of the Ukrainian Premier League due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Italian tactician is currently coaching Shakhtar Donetsk, who have been leading in the Ukrainian league, but now he is considering a way for himself and his staff to leave the country.

Meanwhile, he has received calls of support and assurances from the Italian ambassador to Ukraine Pier Francesco Zazo, FIGC president Gabriele Gravina, and AIAC chairman Renzo Ulivieri.

“You always hear people talking badly about Italy,” De Zerbi said on DAZN.

“I speak well about it as well as the Italian embassy in Kiev, with the ambassador who I was pleased with, [and] the call from President Gravina who assured us that he will be close to us and that he will organize our return as soon as possible.

“Ulivieri called us, I was very pleased.”

De Zerbi thought that Shakhtar’s Ukrainian league match with Metalist Kharkiv would go ahead on the weekend but it seemed that the country’s football administrators were not able to make a decision on the league soon enough.

“We had the clear perception, the problem is that we have come to play football and when they give us reassurance that Saturday’s match would be played at 70 percent, so I heard last night, then decide: either leave everyone and think to yourself or you respect the commitments made,” he said.

“In reality, the suspension of the championship came before the war, and some mistakes were made by the people who should have stopped sporting activities. In that case we would have left.”

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