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Russian Premier League clubs back expansion to 18 teams

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MOSCOW - The Russian Premier League could expand to 18 teams as the competition's president Sergei Pryadkin says most of its clubs back a change.

The move would create space to admit two Crimean clubs currently in the Ukrainian league system, something the Russian Football Union has previously said would be desirable following Russia's annexation of the peninsula.

"I can tell you that practically all the management officials at the clubs, not just 90 per cent, but all of them, are in favour of expansion," local media quote Pryadkin on Monday.

"I think that in our country 18 teams is optimal, but we have to do everything in stages," added the Premier League president.

Pryadkin did not say which clubs might be admitted.

The Russian top flight has had 16 teams since 1998.

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