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European soccer body snubs Crimean games in Russia

AP - Sports

GENEVA (AP) -- European soccer's governing body won't recognize any matches played by Crimean clubs in Russian competitions, but it stopped short of issuing sanctions against 2018 World Cup host Russia.

Three clubs from Crimea, a region annexed by Russia in March, debuted in Russian league and cup competitions this month.

UEFA says in a statement the matches by the three teams ''will not be recognized'' by the organization ''until further notice.''

The Ukrainian soccer federation urged sanctions against Russian soccer authorities. It contends that admitting the Crimean clubs broke UEFA rules on national jurisdictions.

The Russian Football Union's honorary president, Vyacheslav Koloskov, told Russia's R-Sport agency the UEFA ruling ''satisfies us'' and that ''UEFA, in my opinion, has acted very wisely.''

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