Donetsk, Jun 23 — DAN. Eleven clubs from six DPR towns are competing at the Donetsk People’s Republic football Championship which kicked off in mid-May, DPR Football Union President Pavel Davydenko said on Friday.

“The Championship, now in full swing, has gathered teams from Donetsk, Makeyevka, Mariupol, Amvrosiyevka, Telmanovo and Komsomolskoye, so the geographic dispersion is wide, ” Davydenko told the Donetsk News Agency.

Several clubs have already played six games each. The top scorer is Gvardeyets SDYUSHOR-2 FC from Donetsk. After the July break, the second half of the Championship will run from August to November. Matches are played in rear areas of the Republic without spectators for security reasons, he said.

Football practice is important in this difficult situation; players must not be out of form because of a lack of official games, Davydenko said.

Aside from the Premier League, the DPR has “Golden” and “Silver” Groups for children up to 10 and 12 years of age. They comprise, respectively, seven and 15 teams, including two from Mariupol.

Earlier this month, a minifootball veterans tournament dedicated to All Russia Football Day and Russia Day brought together teams from the Donbass Republics and the Russian towns of Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl. DPR players won three games, drew four and lost one scoring 13 points which secured them the top place, the football official said.

The DPR Football Union was established in 2015. The key events held under its aegis are Championship, Competition and DPR CUP. Every year, these tournaments welcome dozens of teams from across the DPR. Donetsk’s Gvardeyets has the best rating as four-times DPR champion and three-times Cup winner.*jk