New Crimean championship starts with a draw
The first ever match in the Crimean Premier League took place on Saturday when hosts SKChF Sevastopol drew 2-2 with TSK Tavriya from the region's capital Simferopol.
The Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia on March 18 2014, following unrest in Ukraine, which led to former President Viktor Yanukovich abdicating.
In July last year four clubs from Crimea played in the Russian Second Division South after being granted permission by the Russian Football Union.
However, the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) protested against the decision and on Dec. 4 UEFA banned the four clubs from participating in the Russian championship from Jan. 1 2015 and announced that Crimea was "a special zone".
Following a recommendation from European soccer's governing body the independent Crimean Football Union (KFU) was set up, supported by the Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.
Eight teams from eight cities will take part in the 2015/16 Crimean championship. They will play each other four times for a total of 28 matches per team.
The league will finish in May 2016, with a First Division running parallel to the Premier League, the winners of which will be promoted while the bottom top-flight team is relegated.