https://www.newsweek.com-By James Brinsford
UAF vice-president Oleg Protasov during his playing career, appearing for Gamba Osaka in the J.League Suntory series match against Urawa Red Diamonds at Komaba Stadium on April 2, 1994 Getty Images
The Ukrainian Football Association (UAF) has been warned by FIFA and UEFA that they could face an international suspension.
They are planning a meeting in which they want to replace the current UAF President Andriy Pavelko with 46-year-old Andriy Shevchenko, who is generally regarded as the country’s greatest-ever player.
Shevchenko scored 48 goals in 111 international appearances for Ukraine during his illustrious career, which saw him play for AC Milan and Chelsea among others.
UAF Vice-President Oleg Protasov revealed on his Facebook page that soccer’s governing bodies had made the threat.
The UAF is planning a virtual Extraordinary Committee meeting to discuss replacing Pavelko after he was arrested last month for allegedly misusing international aid funds.
FIFA and UEFA have expressed concern about the possible pressure exerted on some members of the UAF before the meeting.
There are fears that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) could be involved and there have been allegations that it is a Russian plot to “kill Ukrainian football.”
Protasov wrote in his post on Facebook: “FIFA and UEFA, in a letter addressed to the vice-presidents of the UAF, remind that the Ukrainian Association should manage its affairs without the influence of third parties.
“Any violation of this obligation may lead to the suspension of the membership of the UAF in FIFA and UEFA in accordance with Art. 16 of the FIFA Statute and Art. 9 of the UEFA Statute.”
Protasov continued: “I would like to remind you that previously all the members of the [UFA] Executive Committee were sent an action plan regarding the convening and holding of a virtual Executive Committee of the UAF regarding distrust and removal of the leadership of the Ukrainian Association.
“And before that, six heads of regional football associations wrote protocols on convening the UAF Congress in the offices of heads of regional military administrations and under the watchful eye of the SBU.
“Today I received new information, it turns out that the Ministry of Justice will be involved before the authorities fully intervene in football affairs.”
Protasov represented the Soviet Union at international level and he has blamed the plot to elect Shevchenko on a “subversive group”.
Pavelko is being investigated by the National Police, the State Bureau of Investigation, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Prosecutor’s Office over at least 10 alleged criminal cases.
He was arrested on charges of embezzlement by Kyiv Pechersk Court but was released on bail of UAH10,000,000 ($270,000).
This was paid by the UAF and despite the arrest, Protasov has claimed that Pavelko still has full power at the top of the UAF.
Posting on Facebook, Protasov wrote: “If you read the UAF statute, only its President can convene a meeting within two weeks from the date of this request.
“A meeting of the Executive Committee can have a quorum only in the presence of at least 2/3 of its members, as well as necessarily the President or one of the first vice-presidents, to whom the President will provide a corresponding written mandate.
“Expression of no confidence in the President is not provided for by the statute in the powers of the Executive Committee.”
Protasov continued: “Accordingly, the convening of an Extraordinary Congress is possible only if the administration has written decisions of the governing bodies from 3/4 of the members of the UAF.
“FIFA and UEFA are well aware of the UAF statute, since football rules are the same for everyone, and the Ukrainian statute—the statutes of international organisations.
“That is, holding and voting at an extraordinary meeting of the virtual Executive Committee will take place in violation of the above-mentioned provisions of the UAF, FIFA and UEFA statutes.”
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