UEFA won't recognize Crimean club results in Russian leagues

Friday August 22nd, 2014

A UEFA Emergency Panel has ruled that UEFA will not recognize the results of any matches played by Crimean clubs in competitions organized by the Russian Football Union (RFS) until further notice. 

UEFA said the decision was made "in light of the complex and difficult factual and political considerations, and until an agreed solution can be found with regard to the situation in Crimea."

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In March, Crimea was annexed from Ukraine by Russia. Earlier this month, Russia announced that it was incorporating three Crimean teams into its own leagues, a move that contradicted the wishes of Ukrainian authorities. 

Ukrainian soccer officials said Russia has no right to organize the sport on what they consider Ukraine territory, and called on FIFA and UEFA to respond.

UEFA said it has no desire to prevent teams from playing soccer, but participation must "comply with the terms set out in the UEFA Statutes." The panel requested that UEFA and FIFA work to "facilitate discussions" with the RFS and Ukraine's football federation to "find a common solution to this situation."

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Russia is scheduled to host the 2018 World Cup.

- Molly Geary

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