Rinat Akhmetov: I’m sure we all will gather together as close-knit family at Donbas Arena

The president of FC Shakhtar gave an exclusive interview to Ukraina TV channel.

- We find it really hard without football, but these days all of us, you know, are in no mood for football. Because Donbas is in trouble, people are dying. Civilians are dying!

When peace comes, when peace settles in – and we hope that it will come – we all will return to the Donbas Arena, and we all will surely get together. And I will definitely attend football.

I’ve been missing the Donbas Arena very much. You know, I was born and raised in Donetsk. Donetsk is my dearest and most favourite city. And I am so much missing it. All residents of our city, of our region, always came to Donbas Arena and provided the kind of support that it was always very hard for all our opponents to resist us there. Everyone said that it was very difficult to play Shakhtar away! The Donbas Arena has the kind of atmosphere, which, basically, at least made our opponents make mistakes, and made our team charge forward and produce quality and winning performance for our fans.

And today, there is a disaster there, people are in trouble. I have said many times that common sense should win. Now it is important that everyone wants peace. It is important that they stop shooting, stop killing people, and that civilians stop dying. They should restore the economy, create jobs, I mean that people should get decent jobs and decent salaries. And that they should live, not just survive as they currently do, but live! Decently and happily. That's the main thing. Peace, to recover the economy, to secure jobs.

I am sure that the Champions League anthem will go at the Donbas Arena and that we all will gather together as a close-knit family at the Donbas Arena. And that Darijo will sing a song for all our fans, the ‘Out in the Donetsk steppe...’ one, and that all the supporters will sing along. And, I think, it will be a very moving meeting with the fans, bringing tears to the eyes.