Agents say: 'Don't pay Shakhtar' - Football exploiting Russia-Ukraine war, claims club's chief executive

Football agents have been accused of attempting to exploit the war in Ukraine for their own profit by Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin.

Ukrainian football has been rocked by Russia's invasion of the Eastern European country in February.

FIFA sought to make it easy for foreign players to leave teams in Ukraine outside of the regular transfer window by introducing temporary regulations allowing them to arrange transfers elsewhere.

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What did Shakhtar's president say about football agents?

FIFA has decided to extend those rules by a further year, allowing players and coaches to suspend their deals until 2023.

Palkin has argued that FIFA's latest ruling has weakened Ukrainian teams and opened up an opportunity for agents to exploit them.

He told The Athletic: "Some agents are destroying us. They are trying to steal players. They play games, contacting clubs, saying don’t pay us and deals are being broken. You cannot imagine what is going on.

"Agents are arriving to clubs and saying: 'Don’t pay Shakhtar, the players will become free, just pay me (the agent) €10 million and forget about the club'.

“The power to decide on suspension of the contracts is now in the hands of players' agents. It doesn't reflect the club's intention to save players and investments.

"And we now basically have nine days to agree with our players their sale or loan to foreign clubs, which is just impossible.

"FIFA has not helped Ukrainian clubs by issuing regulations. On the contrary, it significantly worsened our negotiations with players and made agents even more powerful and richer."

What has FIFA said?

FIFA confirmed on Tuesday that the temporary rules had been extended, stating: "Should clubs affiliated to the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) or the Football Union of Russia (FUR) not reach a mutual agreement with their respective foreign players and coaches before or on 30 June 2022, and unless otherwise agreed in writing, these players and coaches will have the right to suspend their employment contracts with their clubs until 30 June 2023.

"These provisions give players and coaches the opportunity to train, play and receive a salary, while protecting Ukrainian clubs and facilitating the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia."

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