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Three Crimea clubs to play in Russia

The clubs will play in the second division south but Ukraine officials unhappy and want FIFA and UEFA to step in.

Last updated: 01 Aug 2014 09:58
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Ukraine officials are unhappy and want FIFA and UEFA to look into the matter [AFP]

Football clubs from the Crimea region annexed by Russia will play in the Russian leagues this season.

Three clubs will play in the second division south, a third-tier Russian league, the Russian Football Union said in a statement. The move could bring Russia into conflict with FIFA and UEFA.

The three clubs were named SKChF Sevastopol, Zhemchuzhina Yalta, and Tavria Simferopol, which shares its name with a former Ukrainian champion club, but is a new entity.

Since Russia annexed the peninsula in February, it has registered a total of five new clubs there.

Ukrainian Football Federation spokesman Pavel Ternovoi told The Associated Press on Friday that Russia had no right to administer football on what Ukraine considers its territory, and called on FIFA and UEFA to respond.

"We can't do the work of FIFA and UEFA. We hope that in the near future these structures take the corresponding decisions,'' he said. 

The Ukrainian federation "doesn't want the destruction of Russian football", Ternovoi said when asked about possible disciplinary sanctions against the Russian Football Union.

"The federation wants justice and the absence of politics in football, both in Russia and in Crimea.''

Sergei Stepashin, a former Russian prime minister who sits on the RFU executive committee, told local media that "sanctions are possible'' if Russia incorporates the Crimean clubs, but that the organisation had "no doubts'' it was the right thing to do.

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