Head coach of national soccer team wants Belarusian clubs to join CIS league


The head coach of the Belarusian national soccer team said on Monday that he would back a single CIS league if it was entered by at least two Belarusian clubs.

"If we participated, it would be a great plus for the national team," Heorhiy Kandratsyew told reporters in Minsk. "If only Russia and Ukraine play, it will be very bad for us."

The coach stressed that it was doubtful whether such a tournament would be launched.

Valery Gazzayev, head of the organizing committee for a nascent Gazprom-backed tournament, announced this past January that clubs only in Russia and Ukraine would play in the league at the initial stage.

"All clubs from Russia's and Ukraine's top divisions are invited," he said. "We have sent invitations to all 16 clubs in Ukraine and 16 clubs in Russia."

Experts view the plans for the new tournament as an effort to recreate the Soviet league - which was once among the strongest in Europe.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on January 20 that the establishment of such a league would run counter to the principles of the world's soccer governing body. //BelaPAN