Bilyaletdinov: RPL Playoffs Would Be a Burden

© RIA Novosti . Alexandr Stupnikov / Go to the photo bankDiniyar Bilyaletdinov
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov - Sputnik International
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Spartak Moscow's former Everton winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov says deciding the Russian Premier League champions through end-of-season playoffs would be an extra burden on clubs who are barely coping as it is.

Spartak Moscow's former Everton winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov says deciding the Russian Premier League champions through end-of-season playoffs would be an extra burden on clubs who are barely coping as it is.

Sergey Fursenko, the head of the Russian Football Union, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that he was advocating the idea of determining the champions through the kind of playoffs that hockey and basketball fans are accustomed to.

Club officials at champions Zenit St. Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow have reacted coolly to Fursenko's plan, and Bilyaletdinov became the latest to express caution.

"Do we need a playoff? It's a difficult question," said Bilyaletdinov, who joined Spartak in January after 2 1/2 years on Merseyside. "Even now, without the playoffs, the championship is tough, and if we have playoffs that means extra games, an extra burden on the team."

The 27-year-old added: "It's an interesting idea, but I can't imagine how it would be realized," he told RIA Novosti.

Bilyaletdinov has played in all four of Spartak's games since the winter break but is yet to score, featuring as a substitute in the last two matches, a 2-1 defeat against CSKA and a 3-1 win at Dynamo.

Spartak are fourth in the league with eight games remaining, nine points off the lead of Zenit, whom they play on Saturday.

 

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