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UEFA appoints Laurinec as its special envoy to oversee Crimea’s football development

September 17, 2015, 19:24 UTC+3 ST. JULIANS

An UEFA delegation is planned to visit Crimea on September 26-27

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ST. JULIAN’S /Malta/, September 17. /TASS/. Frantisek Laurinec, a member of the UEFA Executive Committee, was appointed on Thursday UEFA’s envoy to Crimea, Grigoriy Surkis, a vice president of the European football’s governing body, told TASS.

UEFA Executive Committee is holding its regular session on the development of football in Europe in Malta on September 17-18. One of the provisions on the agenda of the session was appointment of UEFA’s envoy to Crimea.

"Frantisek Laurinec has been appointed special envoy with the consent of two national associations, the president and the Executive Committee of UEFA," Surkis said in an interview with TASS.

Laurinec was the head of UEFA first delegation’s visit to Crimea in March this year to assess the football infrastructure on the peninsula and discuss an initiative to establish a regional championship.

According to earlier media reports, another UEFA delegation is planned to visit Crimea on September 26-27.

The delegation is expected to attend a match of the Crimean Football Championship between Sevastopol FC and TSK-Tavria FC. UEFA President Michel Platini said earlier this summer it was possible he would soon pay a visit to Crimea.

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

UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino announced last December 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 governing body of football also announced that a special area would be set up in Crimea, where football would be developing under UEFA’s exclusive auspices.

In July of 2014, 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 last year. 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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