We’ve been trailing the Ukraine-Russia Joint League plans, which was due to commence early next year, since they were first mooted in 2012. Political will, met commercial money, and a football desire to put the merger of two large national leagues into the schedule.
Needless to say, these plans are off the agenda, although it’s easy to look back now and see why the political will was so forthcoming. Note to Westminster, if you want to indulge in a bit of togetherness, put your shoulder behind building a relevant nationwide sporting infrastructure.
Instead of a Joint League, what the football authorities in Russia, Ukraine and Zurich are left with is a bit of a mess. Crimean clubs, Sevastopli and Tavriya are midway through a season in the Ukrainian Premier League. Russian minister for Sport, Vitaly Mutko, said, “From the beginning of next season Sevastopol and Tavria wiil join the Russian Premier League”, which will expand to accommodate them.
He told Russian media he had received assurances from Fifa that they would accommodate the change, adding, “We want a friendly relationship with Ukraine and do not want to disrupt their current championship. When the season finishes in May we will be back in discussions to formulate the way forward.”
The Russian media report that Ukrainian FA are less interested in maintaining friendly relations with their eastern neighbours and have written to Fifa and Uefa asking them to ban Russian football if they take clubs from the Ukrainian FA without permission. This claim has not been mentioned in the Ukrainian press, or on the Ukraine FA website – despite this being cited as the source in Russia, so it cannot be verified.
Clubs moving between national associations is a common occurrence, happening every year somewhere in the world, but I’m unaware of it happening without the approval of both FAs. Notwithstanding that, there is zero chance Uefa or Fifa will block this transfer. Two member clubs are in a problematic situation, they have a league which wants to take them. Uefa will approve.
Conspiracy theorists everywhere were confounded this morning when one of Europe’s most connected clubs, Bayern Munich, were issued with a partial stadium closure for their home Champions League quarter final against Manchester United, after fans displayed an offensive banner against Arsenal in the last round. Homophobia was their offence of choice.
Seville – The Celtic Movement:
“After the game I asked a policeman the way to the station and he just pointed ahead…walked on to find myself in Porto Bus area…walked back – asked another Policeman and he pointed other way”.
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