Popular Tartu Football Club Booted From Top League (2)
Tartu Tammeka has been thrown out of the Estonian top football league, failing a number of basic requirements, such as naming a head coach.
The head registration committee of the Football Association came to the decision unanimously over the weekend, and will decide who takes Tammeka's place in the league in the next few days.
The association's spokesman, Mihkel Uiboleht, told ERR radio on Sunday that the club does not have contracts in place to use a stadium and training grounds, and has outstanding debt to other clubs and its own staff.
Uiboleht said that, according to his organization's information, the club has practically ceased to exist.
The troubles revolve around club president Jane Afshar, who has been in a stand-off with footballers and other staff represented by the team's captain Kristjan Tiirik. Tiirik said in mid-January that players refuse to work with Afshar, who owes them five months' pay and has unrealistic expectations for the team.
The club said on its website on Monday that it will analyze the decision and reply this week.
If Tammeka chooses not to appeal or fails in its attempt, the top league will lose its best supported team, as Tammeka's attendance numbers were the highest in Estonia last season. Tammeka finished ninth in 2013, winning playoff games against Rakvere Tarvas.
The league season begins on March 1 with ten teams.