The RFU has stated its intentions to incorporate the hotly-disputed territory's three professional clubs, but the European and world governing bodies could yet have their say
Russia’s attempts to incorporate Crimea’s three professional clubs into its leagues could be thwarted after it emerged that neither Uefa nor Fifa have given the go-ahead to the controversial move.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) released a statement at the end of July in which it claimed: “At the next RFU conference we will propose that it should accept the Sevastopol Football Federation and the Republican Federation of Crimean Football under its umbrella.”
But the move has yet to gain approval from Uefa, while Fifa has no knowledge of the potential switch of TSK Simferopol, SKChF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta, the three Crimean professional league clubs who currently exist as part of the Ukrainian football league setup.
Fifa told keirradnedge.com that it “has not been officially informed of the matter”, while Uefa admitted it “is monitoring the situation and is in contact with both national associations to discuss the matter".
Russia’s plans come at a sensitive time following the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster, in which 298 people were killed after the plane they were travelling in was shot down over the Ukrainian town of Torez, 25 miles from the Russian border.
The backdrop of the continued struggle over Crimean territory between Russia and Ukraine means that the RFU could be halted from going ahead with the attempted enrolling of the three clubs and their affiliated local associations until such time as there is a clearer political landscape in eastern Europe.
And with Russia set to host the World Cup in 2018, it will also need to be wary of not breaching Fifa's statutes which dictate that political influences be kept aside from footballing issues.