Crimea designated ‘special zone’ by Uefa

Uefa will prohibit clubs in the disputed territory of the Crimea playing matches in the Russian league.

Russia annexed the peninsula in March, following a controversial referendum in Crimea which backed breaking away from Ukraine.

European football’s governing body has now said Crimea will be designated a “special zone” until the political future of the Crimea is determined.

Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino told a news conference in Nyon: “The Uefa executive committee has prohibited clubs from Crimea playing in the Russian Football Union, and the Russian Football Union may not organise any competition in the Crimea.

“We trust the associations will respect these decisions. If one of the associations does not respect this decision then a disciplinary case would have to be opened.

“It is not up to Uefa to determine any political situation. Having discussed this with the Ukraine and Russia and Ukrainian and Russian football authorities, the executive committee came to the conclusion that for the time being the decision has to be to consider Crimea as a special zone.”

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