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The KFS Premier League or simply the Crimean Premier League is a Crimean football league organized by the Crimean Football Union (Krymsky Futbolny Soyuz) and developed by Russia after UEFA refused to do so the Russian annexation of the Crimea in 2014 in the Russian leagues.
For a full list of Crimean champions, see Republican Football Association of Crimea. Both the Republican Football Federation of Crimea and the Crimean Football Union exist in Crimea. The legal status of the Crimean Football Federation promoted by the Russian Ministry of Sport is not recognized by the Ukrainian Football Federation. The professional status of the league in its claimed form could not be verified.
The league was formed by a UEFA delegation headed by former president of the Slovak football association František Laurinec. Five out of eight teams have never competed professionally, and according to UEFA's official evaluation, the region has a poor football infrastructure. According to Laurinec, "UEFA wants to help save football in the Crimea." At the same time, Ukrainian officials do not seem to be strongly against their own league in Crimea, but they remain firm in their stance that Crimea is part of Ukraine.
In 2016, Vyacheslav Koloskov expressed his opinion that UEFA does not consider granting Crimea membership. At the same time, the President of Crimean Football Union stated that UEFA has two options to solve the problem: either the recognition of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation or the granting of membership, as in the case of Kosovo. There is an opinion that the Crimean Football Union can become the independent member of UEFA as the Association of Football of Gibraltar.
Most players in the league come from mainland Russia for funding, although some of the local players are on the field. Only a handful of Brazilians and Ukrainians who have chosen the league face personal sanctions from the Ukrainian Football Association.
In the third season of the Crimean Premier League, audience numbers ranged from around 3,500 in one game to 300 in others. Not all stadiums are up to standard. An association plays on its training field.
During a promotion / relegation match on June 7, 2018, no more than 400 spectators could be expected with free entry. The president of FC Avangard Yalta, Igor Kashpirko, acknowledged that some players who not only play football work elsewhere.
The first competitive match was a 2-2 draw between SKChF Sevastopol and TSK-Tavria Simferopol in August 2015. The UEFA sanctioned league consists of 8 teams: TSK Simferopol, SKCHF Sevastopol, Rubin Yalta, Bakhchisaray, Yevpatoria, Kafa, Ocean Kerch and Berkut Evpatoria. TSK and SKCHF are financially relatively independent, while the remaining six clubs in Crimea, according to a local journalist, are funded by the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation. There was also the intention to invite the former Russian international Andrei Kanchelskis to train one of the clubs in the Crimea.
Although sanctioned by UEFA, the Crimean Premier League is not run as a regular league at the highest level.
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