First Brazilian Fred returns to Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred
Shakhtar midfielder Fred has not been capped for Brazil

Brazilian midfielder Fred has returned to Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk after the club relocated to Kiev.

Brazilian defender Ismaily is expected back "in a few days", but Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Dentinho and Facundo are still absent.

Chief executive Sergei Palkin said: "Many of them are scared. We are in the persuasion phase that Ukraine is safe."

He added: "I hope to get this sorted out. If not, we have the other mechanisms to deal with it."

The six players refused to leave France last weekend after the club played a friendly, as Donetsk is currently controlled by pro-Russian rebels, with the Ukrainian army attempting to regain control.

Last week Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, close to Donetsk.

Last week, all 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines plane died after the airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine, close to Donetsk, with Western nations saying there is growing evidence that the plane was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by rebels.

Club president Rinat Akhmetov has warned that the players may face sanctions if they do not return.

On Wednesday Shakhtar confirmed that the squad will now reside and train in Kiev - over 600 miles west of Donetsk - and travel to Lviv for Champions League and domestic games.

Shakhtar opened the new season with a 2-0 win at rivals Dynamo Kiev in a Super Cup game in Lviv on Tuesday.

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