Updated: Thursday, 14 August 2014 03:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Ukraine wants Russia punished for admitting Crimean clubs

Ukrainian Football Federation boss Anatoly Konkov has called upon the world and European football ruling bodies to punish the Russian Football Union for admitting clubs from Crimea, which Russia annexed.


Ukraine wants Russia punished for admitting Crimean clubs

A picture taken on March 26, 2014 in Sevastopol shows the pitch of the FC Sevastopol home stadium - by Vasiliy Batanov

A letter by Konkov published on the official website of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) stated that "the Russian Football Union executive board illegally and arbitrarily incorporated the Ukrainian clubs from the Crimean peninsula."

It said that the RFU had not officially notified world governing body FIFA nor the European body UEFA about this decision, and pointed out that three Ukrainian clubs have now played in the Russian Cup.

"We all understand that such RFU activity is contrary to the statutory regulations of FIFA, UEFA, Football Federation of Ukraine and the RFU itself," said Konkov.

The statement came out hours after three clubs from the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in March from Ukraine, took part in the Russian Cup.

Last month the RFU gave three Crimean clubs -- TSK Simferopol, SKCF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta -- the all clear to join the southern zone of the Russian league third division.

The trio have been recently refounded from scratch and were registered in the southern Russian cities of Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don.

"As the president of the Ukrainian national association, I appeal to you with a request to take all necessary measures to solve the situation, including the use of legal sanctions against the party that violated the regulations and ignored the basic principles of higher football authorities," said Konkov in the letter.

"Crimea is a part of Ukraine, so all football agents in Crimea are under the jurisdiction of the Football Federation of Ukraine," he added.

"We are waiting for your prompt response and clarification of the 'Crimean issue' as soon as possible. The future of the Ukrainian and world football is in your hands."

When asked to comment on the situation by AFP, UEFA said that it is "monitoring the situation and is in contact with both national associations to discuss the matter."

FIFA for their part told AFP that said they had received a letter from Konkov alerting them to the situation.  

"FIFA is aware of the fact that clubs from Crimea have played matches of the Russian Cup on Tuesday, 12 August 2014," said a FIFA spokesperson.

"Furthermore, we acknowledge receipt of a letter sent by the President of the Football Federation of Ukraine regarding the same matter.

"FIFA will handle the matter based on the relevant processes that should be overseen by the confederation (UEFA) in the first instance. For the time being we can’t make any further comments."

Earlier, Nikolai Tolstykh, the president of the RFU, said the reaction from the FFU was simply what he expected.

"After the Ukrainian Football Federation wrecked the four-way talks between FIFA, UEFA, the FFU and RFU we expected an appeal to the international football ruling bodies from them," ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Tolstykh as saying.

"The RFU has repeatedly informed both FIFA and UEFA about its position. We have also repeatedly held advisory meetings on the case. We will continue this work in the future. 

"And we'd like to invite our Ukrainian colleagues to have constructive dialogue on this problem."

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