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SIMFEROPOL, March 11. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) allocated 1 million euro (about $1.1 at the current exchange rate) to support football in Crimea, the Crimean Football Union (CFU) said.
The UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday hosted a working meeting of Crimean Football Union and UEFA officials to discuss pressing issues of football development in the Russian region. The meeting was attended by UEFA Executive Committee member Frantisek Laurinec, the head of UEFA's national associations department, Zoran Lakovic, CFU president Yuri Vetokha and CFU administration chief Olga Bezuglovets, as well as UEFA financial and legal experts.
"UEFA allocated one million euro to develop football in Crimea, while the Union’s members said they were ready to cooperate with the CFU on various projects," the CFU said in a statement. "UEFA officials spoke highly of the CFU work to develop football on the peninsula and expressed their readiness to continue their various support for Crimean football."
Laurinec and Lakovic also announced the organization’s plans to jointly train and license Crimean football coaches and judges.
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.