Six foreign players for Shakhtar Donetsk have refused to return to the eastern Ukrainian soccer team's conflict-hit home city, sparking a furious reaction from owner Rinat Akhmetov.
Akhmetov released an official statement via the club's website, confirming the news and issuing a stark warning to the players, saying they'll be the "first to suffer."
Akhmetov warned the players that their actions could activate compensation clauses that would see them owe Shakhtar tens of millions of euros.
Ukraine's military is attempting to retake Donetsk after it fell into the hands of pro-Russian rebels.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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