Champions League football will return to Hamburg next season, as Shakhtar Donetsk agree to play their upcoming European fixtures in Germany.
The last time Volksparkstadion hosted a Champions League match was in 2006. However, European football will be back at Hamburg next season — not for the German club themselves — but for Shakhtar Donetsk, who cannot play in their own stadium because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
An agreement has been reached for all three of Shakhtar’s home fixtures in the Champions League group stages to be hosted in Germany during 2023-24, Bild reports.
Last season, Shakhtar played their home Champions League games in Warsaw due to the Russian invasion. In their domestic league, the team have been forced to use multiple grounds since the conflict began. Initially, Arena Lviv was used before the club moved its headquarters to Kharkiv. Today, Shakhtar are based in Kyiv, playing their home league matches at NSC Olimpiyskyi.
Despite the extremely difficult circumstances they’ve been forced to play under in recent seasons, Shakhtar have continued to compete at the highest level, remarkably winning the Ukrainian Premier League in 2022-23 and ultimately qualifying for the group stages of the upcoming 2023-24 Champions League competition.
The draw for the group stages of the Champions League is yet to take place, with 31 August the date scheduled for the group announcements. Shakhtar will be in Pot 3 for the draw, alongside clubs such as RB Salzburg, Lazio, and AC Milan.