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Crimea hosts first international football match since reunification with Russia

February 12, 2017, 3:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Crimean clubs tried to join the Russian league system but failed due to objections from Kiev, so the region was turned into a 'special zone,' governed by the Crimean Football Union (CFU)

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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The first international football match after Crimea’s reunification with Russia was held in the Simferopol Saturday, the head of the Crimean Football Union (CFU), Yury Vetokha, told TASS.

As part of the CFU Open Winter Cup, Simferopol’s TSK-Tavria defeated 3:1 Cameroon’s Yaounde-2.

"We have been in negotiations since last year, and we managed to invite the team from Cameroon. We also talked to other African teams, but they could not arrive due to visa difficulties. A visit of a team from Cameroon is a big event for us," Vetokha said.

A total of 12 teams are taking part in the CFU Open Winter Cup that began on February 8 one from Cameroon, eight from Crimea and three from Russia. The final is due on February 25.

Before Crimea’s reunification with Russia, its football was governed by the Football Federation of Ukraine and clubs participated in the Ukrainian leagues. When the peninsula became a part of Russia, Crimean clubs tried to join the Russian league system but failed due to objections from Kiev. The solution supported by UEFA was to make Crimea a 'special zone', governed by the Crimean Football Union.

The CFU enjoys a special status in UEFA. The organization was formally registered in the middle of July 2015. Crimea’s first championship featuring eight teams was held on August 22 to June 4, 2016. Simferopol’s TSK-Tavria emerged the winner.

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