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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechnya May Play in Russian Soccer League

After a seven-year absence because of war and unrest in its homeland, Chechnya's Terek soccer team will likely return to Russian second-division play in 2001, a Russian soccer official said Thursday.

The team, formerly the republic's top soccer club, must first find a new stadium, and ensure the safety of players and fans who attend its games, said Russian Soccer Union spokesman Andrei Tarablin.

The union's executive committee decided last week to admit a Chechen regional chapter back into the union and will vote before the end of January on admitting Terek, Tarablin said.

The team is the oldest regular soccer team in Russia's Caucasus region, and had players considered good enough to take jobs at other Russian clubs when the team fell apart in 1993, as the republic descended into chaos, he said.

Terek has already begun selecting a new lineup, and will practice and play temporarily in a stadium in Mineralnye Vody, a Russian town near Chechnya, ITAR-Tass reported Thursday.

The stadium that Terek used to play on in Chechnya's capital Grozny was destroyed, along with most of the city, in the two successive wars Chechen independence fighters have fought with Russia's army.