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Zenit Gets Creative In Reasoning Ukraine Player Quit Club

Ukrainian Yaroslav Rakitskiy asked to leave Zenit St. Petersburg while Daniel Farke has left Krasnodar before coaching a single match.

MOSCOW — Former Ukrainian international Yaroslav Rakitskiy has severed ties with Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg, the club said on Wednesday, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.

The 32-year-old, who won 54 caps for Ukraine before retiring from international duty in 2019, asked Zenit to terminate his contract, which was set to expire in June.

"The player has requested the early termination of his contract with the club due to a difficult family situation," Zenit said in a statement. "We sincerely wish the family and friends of Yaroslav Rakitskiy well and, of course, we hope to see each other on the pitch."

The defender joined Zenit from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2019, scoring seven goals in 108 matches with the Russian side.

A source told Russia's Match TV on Wednesday that Polish international Grzegorz Krychowiak was looking to leave his Russian Premier League club, FC Krasnodar. His current contract expires in June 2024.

Krasnodar said earlier that they were parting ways with German manager Daniel Farke, as well as assistants Edmund Riemer, Chris Domogalla, and Christopher John, by mutual agreement. Krasnodar had yet to play a match under Farke.

Russian sport finds itself in turmoil after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week recommended that sports federations suspend teams and athletes from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine. Belarus has been a key staging area for the invasion.

Several sports federations, including world soccer governing body FIFA and the International Skating Union (ISU), have banned teams and athletes from the two countries. Russia has also been stripped of hosting key events such as this season's Champions League final.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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