UEFA President Michel Platini has declined to back a Russian plan for combining its national league with that of neighboring Ukraine.
Platini says he's ''not very much in favor'' of an idea which has been pushed by Russian state-run gas supplier Gazprom, a sponsor of Zenit St. Petersburg and the Champions League.
UEFA has invited consultation on multinational leagues to help revive interest in countries which are struggling to attract fans, broadcasters and sponsors.
Platini tells reporters after a meeting of UEFA's executive committee ''that is not the case with Russia - it is very strong.''
The Russian plan suggested expanding the league later to other former Soviet Union republics.
Merging national leagues would complicate how UEFA allocates entries to the Champions League and Europa League among its member countries.