UEFA to keep Russia, Ukraine clubs apart

UEFA rules that football clubs from either country cannot be drawn against each other in the upcoming season.

    Zenit Saint-Petersburg is part of the Champions League qualifying draw [AFP]
    Zenit Saint-Petersburg is part of the Champions League qualifying draw [AFP]

    UEFA's Emergency Panel has decided Russian and Ukrainian clubs cannot be drawn against each other in a UEFA competition in the upcoming season, European football's governing body announced.

    The decision was taken after months of tension between the two countries following Russia's annexation of Crimea and civil unrest in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine.

    The panel also decided to prevent any UEFA competition matches in Israel due to the "current security situation" meaning Israeli clubs must find alternative venues outside of the country for their home legs in the 2014/15 Champions League and Europa League.

    "In light of the current political situation, the Russian Football Union and the Football Federation of Ukraine have expressed concerns about safety and security in the case of Russian and Ukrainian teams being drawn against each other in UEFA competition," UEFA said in an official statement.

    "After evaluating the request and taking into account the safety and security situation in the region, the UEFA Emergency Panel has decided that Ukrainian and Russian teams cannot be drawn against each other until further notice".

    As a result, Zenit Saint-Petersburg and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk will be prevented from being pitted together when the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw is made on July 18.

    The UEFA Emergency Panel has decided to allow UEFA club competition matches to be played in Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa, in addition to Kiev and Lviv, following an assessment of the security concerns in the country.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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