Spartak Moscow axes second-tier club, citing financial problems

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Soccer Football - Europa League - Group C - Legia Warsaw v Spartak Moscow - Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warsaw, Poland - December 9, 2021 Spartak Moscow players pose for a team group photo before the match REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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May 23 (Reuters) - Russian Premier League club Spartak Moscow said on Monday it was dismantling its second-tier team, citing financial difficulties.

"In light of new realities and taking into account the need to cut the club's budget and its objective financial difficulties, the further existence of Spartak-2 was deemed inexpedient," Spartak said in a statement.

Spartak-2 had played in the second-tier Russian Football National League (FNL) since 2013.

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Spartak said it would focus instead on developing its academy and youth team.

The club, one of Russia's most popular, lost Nike as its kit sponsor this month after the company terminated its sponsorship deal because the team will not be taking part in European competitions next season. read more

UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, decided Russia would have no affiliated teams participating in its club competitions in the 2022-23 season because of Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia and provided Ukraine with military support in response.

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Reporting by Reuters, editing by Ed Osmond

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