Cape Town - A top Ukrainian football chief on voiced a strong opposition to Russia's move to allow three Crimean clubs to join the Russian league.
Three clubs in Crimea, annexed by Russia in March, were given the all clear to join the Russian third division by the Russian football federation (RFU).
This sparked a forceful response from Anatoly Popov, deputy president of the Ukraine Football Federation (FFU).
"Crimea is a temporarily occupied part of Ukrainian territory," the Tribuna website quoted Popov as saying.
"This fact was recognised by the international community at the UN General Assembly.
"The Ukrainian state will definitely make every endeavor to return the Crimean peninsula, while the FFU will do the darndest to bring the Crimean clubs back to the Ukrainian league.
"We will work out our plan of actions at the FFU executive board in the near future."
The three clubs concerned are TSK Simferopol, SKCF Sevastopol and Zhemchuzhina Yalta.
The trio have been recently founded from scratch and were registered in the Russian southern cities Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don, local media report.
"The football clubs in Crimea have been founded in compliance with the Russian legislation," Russia's sport minister Vitaly Mutko commented.
"It's our home affair and I don't see any problems here. And I also see no reasonable grounds for any FFU protests."
Crimea's two Ukrainian Premier League sides - Tavria Simferopol and Sevastopol - were disbanded shortly after the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula by Russia from Ukraine.