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Jul 3, 2012

Anzhi slam UEFA ruling

Anzhi Makhachkala have expressed their disappointment at a UEFA decision to make the club host Europa League games away from the Dagestan region of Russia.

The Russian Premier League side have shot to international attention in the past two seasons for their lavish spending which has seen the likes of Roberto Carlos, Samuel Eto'o and Christopher Samba head to the club.

Anzhi qualified for this season's Europa League following a fifth place finish in Russia last term, but the UEFA executive committee has ruled that the club cannot play home games in the Dagestan region due to security concerns.

Anzhi general director Aivaz Kaziakhmedov expressed his frustrations via the club website on Tuesday, saying: "On behalf of the football club Anzhi I say that we were deeply sorry to accept the UEFA Executive committee's decision about the impossibility of conducting the Europa League matches with our team's participation in our native city Makhachkala.

"It's known that this decision is not connected with the sports aspect of the issue at all. The motives of absolutely different, not depending on us, causes are the foundation of the decision.

"Nevertheless, we, the management of football club Anzhi Makhachkala will do our best to maximally observe the interests of our fans, we don't have right to deprive them of a chance to watch their favourite team play. The work in this direction is already in progress.''

Anzhi have also published an open letter aimed at UEFA president Michel Platini in which the club claims "decisions of the UEFA executive committee contradict the values claimed by UEFA''. They also asked for the ruling to be changed.

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