West Ham will face Shakhtyor Soligorsk from Belarus or Domžale from Slovenia in the Europa League 3rd qualifying round. The Hammers will have their opponent confirmed next week when the two teams meet in the second leg of their second round match. The tie is currently at 1-1 with Domzale set to host Shakhytor on July 21.
West Ham have been drawn at home for the first leg on 28th July which means they must ask permission for the first leg to be switched to an away fixture as the Olympic Stadium will not be ready in time.
The club has confirmed they “have today made official representation to request that the fixture be reversed.”
Shakhtyor Soligorsk was founded in 1961. During Soviet era Shakhtyor Soligorsk was playing in top or second division of Belarusian SSR league, occasionally dropping to lower tiers (Minsk Oblast league) for a short time. In 1971 Shakhtyor absorbed two other local Soligorsk teams (Khimik and Gornyak). Their best results came at the end of Soviet days, when the team finished as league runners-up twice (1988, 1990) and won Belarusian SSR Cup three times (1985, 1986, 1988).
Since 1992 Shakhtyor has been playing in Belarusian Premier League. The team struggled through the 90s, usually fighting against relegation. In 1997 they finished at the last place in league, but were saved from relegation after two other Premier League clubs withdrew.
NK Domžale was formed in 1921 and is one of the oldest Slovenian football clubs. Their current stadium (Domžale Sports Park) was built in 1948.
The club’s golden age began in summer of 2002, when Slaviša Stojanovič became head coach. He brought Domžale into the 1. SNL. In the 2005–06 season, they advanced through the first two qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup before being eliminated in the First Round by Stuttgart. They played in the 2006–07 qualifying rounds, but were eliminated by Hapoel Tel Aviv. After a 4–0 away win against Primorje on 13 May, Domžale were confirmed as league champions for the first time. This win makes the club only the fifth to claim the title since the independent league’s formation in 1991–92.
About Sean Whetstone