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UEFA delegation pospones visit to Crimea to March

February 13, 2015, 18:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The UEFA proposed setting up in Crimea an independent football structure which would unite existing football federations in Crimea and Sevastopol
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© ITAR-TASS/Valeriy Sharifulin

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has postponed a visit of its delegation to Russia’s Crimea from mid-February to March, the UEFA press service said on Friday.

The press service told TASS that the exact dates would be announced later.

UEFA informed the Russian Sports Ministry last week that it planned to send its delegation comprised of members of the executive committee of the governing European football body and other officials to Russia’s Crimea for a visit to assess the football infrastructure on the peninsula and discuss an initiative of holding a regional championship.

Last month after meeting with UEFA President Michel Platini in Moscow, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the UEFA proposed setting up in Crimea an independent football structure, which would unite existing football federations in Crimea and Sevastopol and would be under the temporary jurisdiction of UEFA.

The competition of the mooted Crimean Football Championship is planned to be made up of eight professional football clubs. The club completing the championship’s competition in the last place will be replaced by an amateur Crimean football club, but only in case it complies with the requirements of the professional league.

UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino announced on December 4 that Europe’s football governing body prohibited three Crimean football clubs, namely TSK Simferopol, SKCF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta, from competing in the Russian championship starting January 1, 2015.

UEFA also announced that the Russian Football Union (RFU) would not be subjected to penalties for placing the three clubs to the Second Division of Russia’s championship in the 2014/2015 season.

The European football union also announced that a special area would be set up in Crimea, where football would be developing under UEFA’s exclusive auspices.

Last July, the RFU 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."

Representatives of FIFA, UEFA, the RFU and the Ukrainian football federation had four meetings in September. A decision was made then 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.

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