The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

UEFA snubs Crimean games in Russian competitions; no sanctions for 2018 World Cup host

  • Print

GENEVA - UEFA will not recognize any matches played by Crimean clubs in Russian competitions but stopped short of issuing sanctions against 2018 World Cup host Russia on Friday.

Three clubs from Crimea, a region in Ukraine annexed by Russia in March, debuted in Russian league and cup competitions this month.

UEFA's Emergency Panel ruled that the clubs' matches "will not be recognized by UEFA until further notice," the organization said in a statement.

The Ukrainian Football Federation had called for sanctions against Russia's football authorities, arguing that admitting the Crimean clubs meant the Russian Football Union broke UEFA regulations by acting outside its jurisdiction.

The ruling "satisfies us," the RFU's honorary president Vyacheslav Koloskov told Russia's R-Sport, because "in it there are no sanctions or threats of sanctions against the RFU."

Koloskov, a former FIFA vice-president, added that "UEFA, in my opinion, has acted very wisely."

The ruling is not a "tragedy," Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, a FIFA executive committee member, told R-Sport.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited Russia at the weekend for talks in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mutko and World Cup organizing committee CEO Alexei Sorokin.

During the trip, Blatter reiterated his stance that the Crimea matter should be "overseen" by UEFA, according to FIFA. Football's world governing body did not specify whether the issue was raised during Blatter's meeting with Putin, or at another time.

UEFA, as Europe's governing body, has precedence over FIFA in purely European disputes.

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta earlier this month published what it said was a leaked recording of a meeting of the RFU's executive board to discuss admitting the Crimean clubs to the league.

On the recording, which has not been independently verified, some of the participants express concern that Russia could lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup or that Russian clubs could be ejected from the Champions League and Europa League.

All three Crimean clubs covered by Friday's ruling — SKChF Sevastopol, Tavria Simferopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta — are playing in Russia's third tier and none are competing in any UEFA tournaments this season, so UEFA's ruling is likely to have little practical effect.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.