Thousands marched along a route that followed the main battle zones between anti-government protesters and riot police, a year ago.

In August 2013, UEFA disqualified Metalist from all 2013–14 UEFA competitions.[10][nb 1]

He also posted a picture of a rocket launcher which he said the suspects were planning to use in attacks in the city.

The matter was considered by UEFA's appeals body at a hearing in Nyon, Switzerland, after receiving statements from the club.

Krasnikov was allegedly involved in the fixing of a Ukrainian league match with Karpaty Lwiw in 2008.

The rally was one of several being held to mark a year since the Kiev uprising that led to the fall of pro-Russia leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Vice-president Kostyantyn Pyvovarov, in a statement on the club's website, said: "We regret that such a sanction was applied, and we do not agree with it.

Kharkiv was a host city for the UEFA Euro 2012, and hosted three group soccer matches at the reconstructed Metalist Stadium.

"PAOK will not be replaced in the UEFA Europa League play-offs and their opponents, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC, thus qualify directly for the group stage."

"At the same time, 'Metalist' has won the right to participate in the Champions League 2013-14 in a fair fight.

Moscow-backed rebels have threatened to expand their operations there. Many fear the fighting is now spreading to this strategic city, Ukraine's second largest, which is just a half-hour's drive from the Russian border.

Eyewitness Alexei Grechnev told the BBC: "We were walking in a column of people, in the front section, when I heard a loud boom and saw some people fall to the ground a few metres away from me, a somewhat unexpected and unreal scene, like in movies."

Metalist Kharkiv supporters biggest rivalry centred on Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.[24] Despite this fans of both clubs marched in support of a "united Ukraine" in Kharkiv during the April 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine.[24]

Kharkiv has the relatively long and cold winters. Kharkiv receives the heavy snowfalls, especially in February, and the surfaces of Kharkiv river and Lopen are covered by the ice at Winter.[citation needed]

Avangard Budy is a bandy club from Kharkiv, which won the Ukrainian championship in 2013.

Kharkiv lies outside the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, where a ceasefire appears finally to be taking hold.

The current club was renamed in 2005, when it was promoted to the Vyscha Liha for the first time. Originally the club entered the Ukrainian Professional League in the Druha Liha Group C in the 1999–2000 season as FC Arsenal Kharkiv.

It read: "The UEFA emergency panel, which is composed of five members of the UEFA executive committee, decided to replace Metalist with PAOK FC for the remainder of the 2013-14 club competitions.

"The local population reported to us that there is no water, no food, no gas, no heating, no electricity, no medication. And all the buildings that our monitors have seen (...) have been affected by the fighting," he said.

He later said the four suspects were Ukrainian citizens who had received instruction and weapons in the Russian city of Belgorod, just across the border.

Before Sunday's explosion, Kharkiv, in the north-east of Ukraine, had seen more than a dozen attacks over three months, including an explosion in a bar used by pro-government activists which injured more than 10 people in November.

"That's why today we plan to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

"As a consequence the Greek club, eliminated by Metalist in the third qualifying round, will now face FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, with the first leg to be played on August 21 in Germany.

Metalist Kharkiv participates in European competitions since 1988 after playing its first against Borac Banja Luka. From 2007 to 2014, however, the club continuously participated on annual basis with variable successes. This ended when Metalist failed to qualify.

On 22 April 2016, the FFU Committee announced that Metalist would not be allowed to participate in professional competitions because of its debts to its players.[13][14] On 16 May 2016, the FFU Appeal Committee left in force the decision of the FFU Football Clubs Attestation Committee of 22 April 2016 and refused in issuing attestation for the next season for the club by declining its appeals.[15]

We've noticed that you are using an ad blocker.

Too bad for the team and fans. As the city near wher my family comes from, I’ve tried to follow the team as best I could from overseas.

Click here to view instructions on how to disable your ad blocker, and help us to keep providing you with free-thinking journalism - for free.

"Security service detained persons who may have been involved in the preparation and carrying out of crimes of a terrorist nature in Kharkiv, including the explosion," security spokesman Markian Lubkivskyi wrote on his Facebook page.

There have been other bomb attacks and explosions in Kharkiv in recent weeks, but this was the deadliest so far.

Kharkiv returned to relative calm by 30 April.[54] Relatively peaceful demonstrations continued to be held, with "pro-Russian" rallies gradually diminishing and "pro-Ukrainian unity" demonstrations growing in numbers.[55][56][57] On 28 September, activists dismantled Ukraine's largest monument to Lenin at a pro-Ukrainian rally in the central square.[58] Polls conducted from September to December 2014 found little support in Kharkiv for joining Russia.[59][60]

The team has played under the following names: KhPZ (1925–1940), Dzerzhinets (1947–1952), Avanhard/Avangard (1956–1965), Metalist/Metallist (since 1965).

Perhaps this is the opportunity for the club “Helios”, and although not being familiar with their ambitions, finances and ownership I know they did not perform too bad in Divison 1 in the season that just ended.


"This decision is final. Metalist have the opportunity to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Gas lines were installed for heating in government and later private homes. An airport was built in 1954. Following the war Kharkiv was the third largest scientific-industrial centre in the former USSR (after Moscow and Leningrad).

The Gor'ky park was fully renovated in Kharkiv in 2000s, having a big number of modern attractions, a lake with lilies and the sport facilities to play tennis, football, beach volleyball, and basketball.

More than 100 people died, in what was, until then, the worst violence in Ukraine's history as an independent state.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the attack as "a bold attempt to expand the territory of terrorism" and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.

UEFA charged Metalist last week after CAS upheld a five-year ban imposed on the club's sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov by the Ukrainian Football Federation.

An amateur video shows a procession of a few hundred people, marching down one of Kharkiv's main streets.