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KAZAN, April 22. /TASS/. Russia needs developing mass ice hockey in the country and avoid excessive recruiting of foreign players in national clubs, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Speaking at the session of the Presidential Council on the Physical Culture and Sports Development in Kazan on Friday, Putin said it was necessary "to make the mass amateur ice hockey more accessible, to create proper infrastructure at education facilities, to come up with targeted non-budget support for talented children from families with low income."
"This will all help selecting perspective children and working with them from school to professional clubs, the national team and gradually move away from excessive, and often ungrounded, recruitment of legionnaires," the president said.
President Putin signed into law on July 1, 2015 a bill regulating a number of foreign athletes allowed to participate in sports competitions in Russia.
The law envisaged provisions granting the Russian Sports Ministry the right of establishing and coordinating the limit of foreign athletes allowed competing for Russia and who were also referred to as ‘legionnaires.’ Each sport envisages its own limit for attracting legionnaires, according to the law.
The 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.