Georgia propose to merge football league with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Reuters, Monday 15 Apr 2013

Georgia is waiting for approval from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan over proposed joint leqgue

Georgian football chief Zviad Sichinava has proposed launching a joint league with neighbouring countries Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

"This is the plan but we must first get the approval of both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan," Sichinava was quoted as saying by local media.

He did not say how many teams might join the new league or when the project could get started.

Each of the three countries has a top-flight 12-team league at present. Kazakhstan's season runs from March to November while Georgia and Azerbaijan follow a more traditional European calendar.

This was the latest proposal to start a joint league in the former Soviet Union.

In December, several top Russian clubs, including champions Zenit St Petersburg, big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala and CSKA Moscow, unhappy with the way the domestic game is run, unveiled a plan to break away from Russia's top flight and start a joint venture with neighbouring Ukraine as early as next year.

The plan called for the creation of a unified league with 20 teams, 10 from each country, and $1 billion in prize money. The head of Russian energy giant Gazprom said at the time that his company would be the league's major sponsor.

However, that plan is unlikely to get off the ground after it was opposed by both the Russian and Ukrainian soccer federations as well as the world and European governing bodies.

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