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Crimean Teams to Compete in Russia's Football League

SKChF Sevastopol

Three Crimean soccer clubs have been accepted to play in the Russian football championship next season, the country's football union said.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March, shortly after Ukrainian protesters toppled Ukraine's pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.

The decision to accept the Crimean clubs was made at a Russian Football Union, or RFU, executive committee session.

Three clubs will make the move to play in Russia — FC Tavriya Simferopol, SKChF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta.

They will compete in the southern zone of the Russian second division, the country's third tier.

"At the next RFU conference we will put the question forward to the Russian Football Union that they should accept the Sevastopol Football Federation and the Republican Federation of Crimean Football under their umbrella," the RFU said Thursday on its website.

The annexation put the Crimean clubs in a difficult position regarding which league they should play in as they had previously competed in Ukraine.

Tensions between the countries have continued with Kiev accusing Russia of backing separatists in the east of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk.

See also:

Ukraine Football Federation Cuts Crimea Teams From Premier League

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