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MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. The first professional football championship may kick off in Crimea in late August, a local football official said on Friday.
A delegation from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) visited a number of Crimean stadiums and training bases on Thursday.
Alexander Krasilnikov, the president of FC SKChF Sevastopol, told TASS that the delegation had come to Crimea "not to make decisions but to meet with people, assess the condition of football in the region and study the position and proposals of Crimea's football managers."
"The delegates said that UEFA is a sports organization unaffected by politics," he added.
The delegation approved the Crimean football championship project to be divided into professional and junior leagues.
Eight clubs will play in the professional league and 16 clubs in the junior league.
"If everything goes well, the Crimean championsip will start in late August," Krasilnikov said adding that local football clubs should comply with all the UEFA demands.
Crimea's top football managers are expected to visit the UEFA headquarters in Switzerland in early April to settle the key issues.
Last July, the Russian Football Union permitted the Crimean clubs to undergo licensing by way of a decision to be taken by its bureau. They were included in the second division of the Russian championship.
The decision was challenged by the football federation of Ukraine and the UEFA passed an intermediary resolution on August 22. It said it did not recognize the introduction of the three Crimean clubs in the second division of Russia’s championship and ruled to hold an extra meeting of the parties concerned "to tap a common solution to the situation."
A decision was later made to set up a working group that would be given the task of settling the awkward situation around football in Crimea, which reunited with Russia in March 2014.