- © Photo: Maksim Konyaev
© Photo: Maksim Konyaev
MOSCOW, February (R-Sport) - The Ukrainian Football Federation will not breach the current structure of world football to accommodate a unified football league with Russia and other post-Soviet states, its president said Wednesday.
Russian officials see a revival of the old Soviet Top League with teams from across the Commonwealth of Independent States as a potential cash cow that can attract sponsorship, big television revenues and help clubs conform to UEFA financial fair play rules.
But Ukrainian Football Federation president Anatoly Konkov said Wednesday that the idea is a non-starter.
"The UFF is against the destruction of the world football pyramid, the integrity and system of holding competitions," Konkov was quoted as saying on the body's website.
Furthermore, attempts to circumvent the federation on the issue could result in legal action, Konkov suggested.
"I believe that any actions directed toward creating any kind of leagues or other unifications of clubs without our express permission are an unprecedented violation of the statutes of FIFA, UEFA and the UFF, and will be viewed in the context of taking measures for disciplinary responsibility."
Last month, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said organization of such a competition was impossible and "goes against the principles of FIFA."
Former Russia coach Valery Gazzaev is overseeing the formulation of the so-called unified football championship and said Tuesday it would consist of two divisions, 18 teams each, and should be launched in 2014-2015 season.
The first seasons would essentially see a merger of the Russian and Ukrainian leagues before branching out, Gazzaev said.
But Konkov ruled it out in principle.
"All Ukrainian professional clubs are part of the UFF, and that means that without agreement from the federation they can't participate in other competitions."
Russian officials are to discuss the project further in Moscow next week.