Financial Collapse For Russian Football Club Spartak Nalchik Deepens Caucasus Crisis
Russian football club Spartak Nalchik "will cease to exist as a professional team amid financial and political problems, an official announced Thursday in another blow to sport in Russia's troubled North Caucasus," according to R-SPORT. So far this season, fellow North Caucasus club Anzhi Makhachkala has seen an exodus of star players "and are now battling relegation from the top flight along with Chechnya's Terek Grozny." Another club from the region, '95 champions Alania Vladikavkaz, "are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy." Sporting success has been a rare source of positive headlines in recent years for the North Caucasus, "large parts of which are plagued by poverty and violent unrest." Top state sports official Aslan Afaunov said, "With the situation that's come up, the club has no possibility of competing under the status of a professional club" (R-SPORT, 1/9).