Football clubs in the Crimea region annexed by Russia could play in the Russian leagues this season, the Russian Football Union (RFU) president Nikolai Tolstykh announced.
According to Tolstykh the decision about moving clubs from the cities of Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta into the Russian third tier would be made on Thursday.
Since Crimean annexation in March, Russia has registered five new clubs in the region. The Simferopol and Sevastopol teams are using stadiums occupied by Ukrainian Premier League teams last season.
The RFU has ''no doubts'' that Crimean clubs must play in Russia, even though FIFA and UEFA ''sanctions are possible,'' Sergei Stepashin, a former Russian prime minister who sits on the RFU executive committee, told local media.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Football Federation says Russia has no right to register clubs on what Ukraine considers its territory.