UEFA Could Sanction Russia For Bringing in Crimean Football Teams

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with young soccer players during a visit to Spartak's stadium Otkrytie Arena in Moscow, August 27, 2014.

The European football association, UEFA, is considering its own sanctions against Russia after the country brought three Crimean teams into a domestic league, UEFA's Ukrainian vice president said Monday.

Russia, slated to host the 2018 World Cup, has violated international football rules by registering the teams in its Professional Football League without approval by the sport's global governing body, FIFA, Hryhoriy Surkis said in comments carried by Ukrainian television channel 2+2.

"As a result of the decision, the Russian Football Union has opened itself up to the possibility of sanctions," Surkis said, adding that he would defend the interests of Ukraine to both UEFA and FIFA.

The Crimean teams in question — TSK Simferopol, SKChF Sevastopol and FC Zhemchuzhina Yalta — are playing in Russia this season after the country annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March.

The question of their participation in the Russian league will be discussed at a meeting of UEFA representatives at European football headquarters in Switzerland on Sept. 18.

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