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MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Reforms are necessary for the Russian Cup, which is the major annual nationwide football competition, and the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) intends to raise this issue during its next session, RFPL President Sergey Pryadkin told TASS on Thursday.
The Russian Cup is an annual competition for the country’s football clubs held by the Russian Football Union (RFU) since 1992 and the tournament brings together teams from the RFPL as well as from the First and the Second Divisions of national football competitions.
In line with regulations, the clubs from the RFPL enter the Russian Cup tournament beginning with the Last 32 stage of the competition and clash with teams from lower divisions.
However, the majority of the RFPL clubs, which entered the Last 32 stage, chose not to line up their best players for this year’s Russian Cup tournament and only 6 out of 16 clubs managed to qualify for the next round.
"I am very disappointed with the poor start of the RFPL clubs in the (Russian) Cup seeing 10 clubs knocked out at once from the competition," Pryadkin said in an interview with TASS.
"We believe that the reforms for the Cup are necessary to elevate the competitiveness of the tournament and to raise the responsibility of the clubs," according to Pryadkin.
"We need to think about the commercial appeal of the tournament to see clubs lining up their best squads," he said. "We do understand that the calendar (of UEFA tournaments’ fixtures) is very tight and the matches are very important, but we want to bolster the level of the (Russian) Cup as well."
"We intend to discuss this issue at the next session of the (RFPL) Executive Board after European tournaments’ matches," Pryadkin added.