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SBD Global/March 28, 2014/International Football

Two Crimean Football Clubs Decide To Join Russian League Next Season

The two principal football clubs in Crimea "have reportedly decided to join the Russian league next season despite potential administrative problems and disagreements with the players and fans," according to the AFP. But "with the political upheaval" over Crimea, "both FC Sevastopol and SC Tavriya Simferopol have decided not to comment on their futures." A Simferopol staff member said, "If I say something, I will suffer." A "slightly more talkative member of the staff" said, "There are troubles with UEFA and political difficulties, with all that's happening now." An SC Tavriya Simferopol employee said that "the Ukrainian players will not be getting Russian passports." He said, "So in Russia, they will be considered foreigners." With the rules in Russia limiting the number of non-Russian players to only seven per team, "the nationality issue may result in a massive exodus of players" (AFP, 3/26).
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