8 soccer players leave Russian club as exodus continues

March 3, 2022 GMT

KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) — Eight foreign soccer players have left Russian Premier League club Krasnodar in a continuing exodus of players and staff since Russia invaded Ukraine last week, the club said on Thursday.

Krasnodar said the eight players, including former France international Rémy Cabella and Sweden winger Victor Claesson, asked for their contracts to be suspended but not canceled, so they could live and train elsewhere.

German coach Daniel Farke, the former manager of English Premier League club Norwich, quit on Wednesday along with his assistants after less than two months in the job and without overseeing a game.

Russian media reported another player, ex-Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, is likely to leave Krasnodar. He posted on social media last week, along with other Poland internationals that he would boycott a game against Russia.

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Krasnodar is backed by wealthy businessman Sergei Galitsky and played in the Champions League group stage last season. Airport closures in southern Russia following the invasion of Ukraine meant Krasnodar couldn’t play a scheduled league fixture last week.

At other clubs, Ukrainian defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy left Zenit St. Petersburg for what the club said were family reasons, and coach Markus Gisdol resigned from Lokomotiv Moscow in protest at the invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian league was suspended last week when the invasion began and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy implemented martial law.

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