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Idea of CIS football league finds support at UEFA

Published time: December 06, 2012 14:33
Edited time: December 06, 2012 18:33
RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Belousov

RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Belousov

European football's governing body says the idea of a new competition made up of teams from the CIS strongest leagues is ‘interesting’.

The issue of creating a championship of the former Soviet Union countries was raised after Zenit were sanctioned by the Russian football authorities after the club’s fans injured the Dynamo keeper with a flare.

The St. Petersburg side as well as their sponsors from Gazprom considered the ruling unfair and threatened to withdraw from the Russian Premier League.

The idea has received the support of the Kremlin, Premier League leaders CSKA Moscow, two-time champions Rubin Kazan, reigning Belarus and Ukraine champions BATE and Shakhtar, as well as the Russian Premier League itself. The fate of the project depends on UEFA and FIFA, and UEFA apparently takes it seriously.

"The idea is interesting," an unnamed UEFA official told the R-Sport agency. "It needs to be worked through, the format should be decided upon."

The source stressed the UEFA chief Michel Platini is "open to innovative ideas."

"It's possible to have a dialogue with him, and if he sees that all countries are ready to organize such a competition, then why not?"

The official believes the league is the best way to attract more investment into the region.

"Only in this way can you attract money into Russian football and support financial fair play, which at the moment is impossible to achieve," he said.

Financial fair play is a UEFA initiative that encourages clubs to be self-sufficient, spending only what they generate in revenue.