Crimean teams will not be included in the RFU – interim head of the Premier League Alaev

Acting President of the Russian Premier League (RPL) Alexander Alaev said he did not see the possibility of including the Crimean teams in the Russian Football Union (RFU). It is reported by RIA Novosti.

“I will never comment on geopolitics. Today, the RFU is a member of UEFA and FIFA, I don’t see any opportunities to include Crimean teams,” Alaev said.

Now the Crimean teams play in the regional championship and are part of the Crimean Football Union.

On June 17, the Minister of Sports of Russia Oleg Matytsin called it possible for clubs from Crimea and Donbass to participate in Russian tournaments. He called it an urgent state task, emphasizing that there should be no restrictions for the inhabitants of these territories, since "sport knows no borders."

The day before, the head of the so-called DPR, Denis Pushilin, said that they plan to revive the Shakhtar football club in Donetsk to replace the team that moved from Donbass after the outbreak of the armed conflict in 2014.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. However, most states did not recognize Russian jurisdiction on the territory of the peninsula. The Russian Football Union has not accepted the Crimean Football Federation since 2014 due to possible sanctions from UEFA and FIFA. The Crimean football championship is held under the auspices of UEFA.

Russian teams have been suspended from international tournaments under the auspices of UEFA and FIFA. The reason for the removal was Russia's military invasion of Ukraine. The Russian men's team was unable to participate in the play-offs for the right to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and is deprived of the right to participate in the League of Nations. The women's national team misses the European Championship in England, and Russian clubs in the 2022/23 season will not play in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. In addition, UEFA moved the 2021/22 Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris and also rejected Russia's bid to host Euro 2028 and Euro 2032.

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