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ST. PETERSBURG, August 6. /TASS/. The most sensible limit of foreigners allowed to play in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is five per each club in the league, Alexander Medvedev, the former president of KHL, told TASS on Thursday.
The Russian Sports Ministry decided to preserve the quota of foreign players in the KHL clubs saying in its document that the number of those, who are ineligible playing for the national team must not exceed five per club. The document also states that each club should have not more than one foreign goaltender.
However, it was still unclear whether players from Belarus would be considered as legionnaires. Last season they were not considered as foreign players in the KHL.
"This is not about the money, but about the hockey players and it is not accidental that the majority of clubs are settling their problems by recruiting Russian hockey players," Medvedev, who was the president of KHL between 2008 and 2014, said in an interview with TASS.
"As I understood it correctly the limit of five players has been confirmed and it is already in force," he said. "I believe it [the limit] is the optimal one."
The Kontinental Hockey League is an international league set up to promote ice hockey in Russia and other European and Asian states. KHL organizes matches of Russian ice hockey championship.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on July 1 a bill regulating a number of foreign athletes allowed to participate in sports competitions in Russia.
The law envisages granting the Russian Sports Ministry the right of establishing and coordinating the limit of foreign athletes allowed to compete in Russia, who are also referred to as ‘legionnaires.’ Each sport would have its own limit for attracting legionnaires, according to the bill.
The new law also stipulates obligatory criteria for foreign players, including their athletic qualification, age, period of permanent stay in Russia as well as athlete’s period of training in Russia and results achieved while competing for Russian sports clubs.