Russian soccer clubs look to revive old Soviet league
Russian soccer authorities say they want to revive the old Soviet league, an idea that has received support from leagues in former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia.
"Several big Russian clubs have asked me to consider and prepare a proposal to create a soccer championship of the CIS," Russian league president Sergei Priadkin said, referring to the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.
The initiative began with Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, which sponsors Zenit St. Petersburg.
The Soviet league, which included teams from the European and Caucasian republics and was regarded as one of the most competitive in Europe, disappeared in 1991 along with the Soviet Union itself.
Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Friday that while the concept is good, it will take time to make it a reality.
He noted that UEFA appears to be moving away from its traditional hostility to the notion of transnational leagues, as evidenced by its apparent acceptance of a planned league uniting teams from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.