"So far, some football clubs, including Ukrainian champion 'Shakhtar' and second-placed 'Dnipro', voiced their favour to the fundamental changes in the football league format."
Kiev, June 6 - In the midst of a deepening crisis with Russia, Ukrainian football officials are to consider a proposal to reshape the country's senior football league.
The leadership of the Ukrainian Football Federation (FFU) and representatives of the country's top flight football clubs will gather June 12 to decide on the league's reform, an official press service said Thursday, reports Xinhua.
The suggestion, proposed by the Premier League leadership, envisages reduction of teams in the championship to 12 clubs from the current 16.
The squads in the league of 12 would have to play each other in two stages. During the first phase, the clubs would meet twice to determine six winners and the same number of outsiders of the championship.
During the second stage, the league will split into two sections of six clubs each. The top six runners of the first stage would compete for the medals of the championship, while six outsiders will fight for a survival in the senior league.
Currently, 16 Ukrainian clubs meet at the Premier League twice a season, playing one home and one away match.
The initiative to reform the Ukrainian Premier League came after two football clubs - Simferopol and Tavria - based in Crimea withdrew their membership in the Ukrainian championship after the peninsula's affiliation with Russia. The situation in Ukraine has been in ferment ever since.
In addition, several teams are suffering serious financial troubles and mulling to quit their participation in the senior league.
So far, some football clubs, including Ukrainian champion 'Shakhtar' and second-placed 'Dnipro', voiced their favour to the fundamental changes in the football league format.
However, some local sports analysts warned that the Premier League reform may reduce competitiveness of the Ukrainian league and hinder the ability of football clubs to attract world's leading players.