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18:10 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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CIS League Initiative Gathers Steam

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An initiative to form a new league comprised of clubs from former Soviet states gathered steam Tuesday, with two-time Russian Premier League champions Rubin Kazan backing the plan.

MOSCOW, December 4 (R-Sport) - An initiative to form a new league comprised of clubs from former Soviet states gathered steam Tuesday, with two-time Russian Premier League champions Rubin Kazan backing the plan.

The idea was first mooted by the CEO of Zenit St. Petersburg sponsor Gazprom last month.

It has since received the support of league leaders CSKA Moscow, the league itself, and the Kremlin.

"The project still needs to be thoroughly thought through," a statement on Rubin's website said.

"But considering the position of UEFA, which is ready to discuss the creation of supra-national league in regions that are homogenous from a geographical point of view, a CIS championship can and should be realized."

Rubin are among Russia's wealthiest clubs, backed by the oil revenues of the Tatarstan region.

They argue the CIS league can act as a catalyst to attract new sponsorship and prompt a surge in stadium attendances.

"It will create extra commercial opportunities for sponsors and will facilitate the process of economic, social and sporting integration of the CIS states," the club said.

The CIS league would essentially foresee a return to the old Soviet Top League. That competition involved teams from most of the 15 former Soviet republics and folded in 1991 with the Soviet collapse.