Report: Putin pines for KHL growth

Updated: July 20, 2009, 12:28 PM ET
Associated Press

MOSCOW -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he hopes the Continental Hockey League will expand to include clubs in central and western Europe.

The Interfax news agency reported that Putin said the KHL, which comprises teams from Russia, Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan, should expand beyond the former Soviet Union and "become a pan-European league."

Putin says if that does happen, it would be "without any administrative domination" by Russia, meaning that Moscow would not seek to control the league.

Speaking to the Russian sports newspaper Sovietsky Sport, Putin said clubs from nations such as Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland could join, according to Interfax.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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