Shakhtar shut out by Harrods

Last season's UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donestk were dealt a blow ahead of their Europa League last 32 first leg at Fulham, after being denied entry to famous department store Harrods.

The Ukrainian outfit finished training for the clash at Craven Cottage on Wednesday and decided to head en masse to Knightsbridge to stock up on souvenirs in England's capital city.

However, on arrival, the squad - all sporting Shakhtar tracksuits - were prevented from entering the establishment owned by Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed, who also owns Fulham Football Club, as the entourage were deemed too suspicious.

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"The Miners haven’t had such experience in any city of the world," said a statement on Shakhtar's official website.

"The players decided to increase the earnings of one of London’s reputable shops – Harrods. The footballers, who have money and are eager to buy a lot were certain to leave a big sum.

"But the Miners weren't allowed to enter the shop. The staff said that the group of customers was too big and suspicious. All of them were wearing similar tracksuits. The players explained that this was the football team and they had no habit of taking tuxedos to the training camp to go shopping. But those explanations were fruitless."

As a result, the team took their business elsewhere.

"They say, when in Rome do as the Romans do. The players bought the presents for their relatives in another shop and its owner was very glad.

"We only hope that if in London clothes count for the first impression, after the match the Londoners will treat our team with respect."

A Harrods spokesman retorted: "There are periods, when the store is at its busiest, that Harrods has to take the difficult decision to deny access to tour parties and larger groups of visitors.

"This is done in the interest of health and safety.

"Needless to say, we do not wish to offend or upset visitors when making these decisions."

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