In June, FIFA announces that players can terminate their contracts with Champions League club Shakhtar Donetsk and leave the club free of charge during the war. The club is missing out on enormous sums, which the Ukrainians now want to have replaced by the world association.

The lawsuit brought by the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk against the world football association FIFA is to be heard today, Thursday, at the International Court of Arbitration for Sport CAS. Before the meeting, Shakhtar stated in a press release why the club should be entitled to millions in damages. “A lot of foreign players have left the club for free,” Shakthar general director Sergei Palkin told AFP. “The club is trying to recover the lost €40m and FIFA should compensate for the damage for which they are responsible.”

In June, the world governing body decided that foreign players or coaches in Ukraine could terminate their contracts due to the Russian invasion. The automatic suspension of player and coach contracts in the course of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine led to a loss of income of around 40 million euros for Shakhtar, which the club now wants to see replaced.

After the decision, many international players left RB Leipzig’s Champions League group opponents on a free transfer. FIFA’s “inappropriate and excessive” measures would target, among other things, Ukrainian and Swiss law as well as EU competition law. Instead of responsibly helping and supporting Ukrainian football during the war, the measures taken would plunge the football community in Ukraine “into an even greater crisis,” the Shakhtar letter said.

Those responsible for the club also want to present alternative measures to CAS that FIFA should have examined and taken. Among these, the club listed the establishment of a fund for Ukrainian clubs that would suffer revenue losses during the war.

Donetsk finished the Champions League group stage third behind defending champions Real Madrid and RB Leipzig. The club advances to the Europa League in the knockout round play-offs against French side Stade Rennes.