Russian football boss makes Crimea prediction
Russian football is in unofficial talks with global and European governing bodies to include Crimean clubs in its jurisdiction, according to the newly-installed president of the Russian Premier League (RPL), Aleksandr Alaev.
Alaev informed reporters of the development on Tuesday afternoon, and, according to TASS, described Crimea as a "special zone" where UEFA was supposed to develop football "for eight years" after the Russian Football Union (RFU) came up with proposals on the matter.
"Now our colleagues from FIFA and UEFA have not done anything for development, either in terms of infrastructure or in terms of funding," Alaev stated.
He said that though dialogue on the topic, which has the integration of youth football at its forefront, had previously stalled, it has now "resumed unofficially."
"The task for the near future is the development of football on the peninsula. This position, albeit unofficially, was heard by colleagues from FIFA and UEFA," Alaev went on.
"I think that Crimean football will move at a different pace in the near future, it is important not to burn bridges. The integration of Crimean football into Russian football is inevitable" the RPL chief added.
Supported by UEFA, the Crimean Football Union (CFU) was established in July 2015, with its own league containing eight teams getting underway the following month.
Seeing Crimean outfits join the RFU and possibly the RPL would be a milestone in Alaev's presidency after recently being elected.
It would also come at a time when the RFU is in conflict with UEFA and FIFA after they banned Russian teams and clubs from international competitions, acting on an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation as a response to the military operation in Ukraine.