Crimean Premier League

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Crimean Premier League
CountryRussia (de facto)
Ukraine (de jure)
Number of teams8

The KFS Premier-Liga (Russian: Премьер-лига КФС) or simply Crimean Premier League is a professional (according to ESPN)[1] association football league in Crimea organized by Crimean Football Union (Krymsky Futbolny Soyuz) and devised by Russia after UEFA refused to allow Crimean clubs to switch to the Russian leagues in the wake of the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.[2]

For full list of Crimean champions, see Republican Football Federation of Crimea. Both Republican Football Federation of Crimea and Crimean Football Union exist in Crimea. Sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Sports,[3] the legal status of Crimean Football Union is not recognized by the Ukrainian Association of Football. The professional status of the league as it claims to be could not to be verified.[3]


The league was formed by UEFA delegation that is led by former president of the Slovak Football Association František Laurinec.[2] Five of eight teams have never participated at professional level and according to the official UEFA evaluation the region has a poor football infrastructure.[2] According to Laurinec "UEFA wants to help save football in Crimea."[2] At the same time Ukrainian officials does not seem to be strongly against the separate league in Crimea, but do remain firm in their stance that Crimea is part of Ukraine.[2]

In 2016 Vyacheslav Koloskov expressed his opinion that UEFA is not considering to grant Crimea a membership.[4] At the same time, the president of the Crimean Football Union said that UEFA has two ways of solving the issue, either recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation or grant a membership like in case with Kosovo.[5] There is an opinion that the Crimean football union can become the independent member of UEFA as Association of football of Gibraltar.[1]

As its funding, most of the league's players come from the Russian mainland although does field some of its local players.[3] Few Brazilian and Ukrainian who chose to play in the league are under a risk of personal sanctions from the Ukrainian Association of Football.[3]

In its third season attendance of the Crimean Premier League varied from about 3,500 spectators at one match to 300 at others. Not all the stadiums are up to standard. One club plays on its training field.[3]

During a promotion/relegation game on 7 June 2018 entrance was free gathering no more than 400 spectators. President of FC Avangard Yalta Igor Kashpirko acknowledged that some players beside playing football, work elsewhere.[3]


The first competitive match was a 2–2 draw between SKChF Sevastopol and TSK-Tavria Simferopol in August 2015. The UEFA sanctioned league has 8 teams: TSK Simferopol, SKCHF Sevastopol, Rubin Yalta, Bakhchisaray, Yevpatoriya, Kafa, Ocean Kerch and Berkut Evpatoria.[6][7][8][9][10][11] TSK and SKCHF are relatively independent financially, while the rest six clubs in Crimea are financed by the Ministry of Sport of Russian Federation, according to a local journalist.[12] There also were intentions to invite former Russian international football player Andrei Kanchelskis to coach one of the clubs in Crimea.[12]

While sanctioned by UEFA, the Crimean Premier League is not listed as a regular top level league.[13]

Member clubs[edit]

Club City/Town Official website Years Status
Bakhchisaray Bakhchisaray 2015–2017 Dissolved
Berkut Armyansk Armyansk 2015–2016 Dissolved, previously represented Yevpatoriya
Kafa Feodosia Feodosia 2015–2018 Relegated in 2018
Rubin Yalta Yalta 2015–2018 Relegated in 2018
Ocean Kerch Kerch Since 2015 (former Ukrainian professional club)
FC Sevastopol Sevastopol Since 2015 formerly FC SKChF Sevastopol
TSK-Tavria Simferopol Simferopol Since 2015
Yevpatoriya Yevpatoriya Since 2015
Krymteplitsa Molodizhne Molodizhne Since 2016 Promoted in 2016 (former Ukrainian professional club)
Kyzyltash Bakhchisaray Bakhchisaray Since 2017 Promoted in 2017, originally as a futsal club from Yalta
Gvardeyets Gvardeyskoye Gvardeyskoye Since 2018 Promoted in 2018
Inkomsport Yalta Yalta Since 2018 Promoted in 2018


Season Winner Runner-up Third place Teams Ref
2015 (promo) SKChF Sevastopol Gvardeets Gvardeyskoe N/A 20
2015–16 TSK-Tavria Simferopol SKChF Sevastopol Bakhchisaray 8 [14]
2016–17 Sevastopol Krymteplitsa Molodizhne Yevpatoriya 8 [15]
2017–18 Yevpatoriya Sevastopol TSK-Tavria Simferopol 8
2018–19 Sevastopol TSK-Tavria Simferopol Krymteplitsa Molodizhne 8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UEFA-backed Crimean league begins following 2014 annexation by Russia". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e A Crimean league? Football caught up in annexation struggle. The Guardian. 20 March 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jeré Longman. Stuck in Soccer Limbo, in the Shadow of the World Cup. The New York Times. July 2, 2018
  4. ^ Koloskov: UEFA is not considering to include CFU in the Union, but rather its integration into the Russian football (Колосков: УЕФА думает не о включении КФС в Союз, а об его интеграции в российский футбол). TASS. 4 May 2016
  5. ^ Vetokha: Crimean Football Union could join UEFA as in case with Kosovo (Ветоха: Крымский футбольный союз может войти в УЕФА по примеру Косово). RIA Novosti. 4 May 2016
  6. ^ "UEFA-backed Crimean league begins following 2014 annexation by Russia". 23 August 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  7. ^ "UEFA-backed league starts play in Crimea". Yahoo Sports. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  8. ^ Futbolgrad. "Crimea - Professional Football Returns - Futbolgrad". Futbolgrad. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  9. ^ "UEFA Appears Prepared to Allow League in Crimea". The New York Times. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  10. ^ "A Crimean league? Football caught up in annexation struggle". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Premier League (Crimea) 2015/2016". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  12. ^ a b Dubas, M. Ukraine’s soccer clubs perform in European competitions. The Ukrainian Weekly. 13 November 2015
  13. ^ European leagues and cups. UEFA website. 17 April 2016
  14. ^ "TSK-Tavriya win first edition of Crimean championship". Eurosport. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  15. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]