Moscow (AFP) - European football governing body UEFA have confirmed the approval of the creation of a football league in Crimea, local media reported Thursday.
"We approve the idea of the creation of the football league in Crimea. But we're not yet ready to announce the time-frame," UEFA executive board Frantisek Laurinec told the R-Sport agency.
The head of the UEFA commission, which inspected the football facilities in Crimea, added that the clear understanding of how UEFA can help Crimean football was the main goal of their visit.
"We need to know how UEFA can support football development in the region," Laurinec said.
"We also want to understand in what conditions is Crimean football, currently situated."
Laurinec also said that the Crimean football chiefs will be invited to UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switserland, to discuss the results and the conclusions of the commission visit.
Meanwhile, the head of the Crimean football federation, Nikolai Gostev, said that he was happy with the results of the visit.
"The members of the commission said they were pleased with what they have seen here in Crimea," ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Gostev as saying.
"The have familiarised themselves with the football infrastructure in the region and gave their view of the situation.
"The decisions about the fate of the Crimean football league will be discussed at a UEFA congress on March 24."
The strategic peninsula of Crimea, long home to Russian military bases, was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March 2014, sparking the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
Two Crimean teams that have played in the Ukrainian top flight, Tavria Simferopol and Sevastopol who have been disbanded.
But TSK Simferopol, SKCF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta were quickly registered in the southern Russian cities of Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don, where they have played in the Russian third division.
However, in January, Russia's Football Union expelled the three Crimean clubs from the country's third division in adherence to a ruling from UEFA.