- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian title challenger FC Krasnodar has signed Russia international striker Fyodor Smolov as a free agent, a move that avoids any further punishment by UEFA for breaching its Financial Fair Play rules.

Heavy spending by Krasnodar’s billionaire owner Sergei Galitsky, who founded the club in 2008, was punished last month by UEFA for breaking those rules and cannot field players in European competitions if it buys them in the next two transfer windows.

Smolov, however, avoids this restriction by joining as a free agent. He arrives following strong form earlier this year for Russian relegation candidate Ural Yekaterinburg, scoring five goals in his last 11 league appearances.

Smolov has scored twice in five appearances for Russia, but was left out of coach Fabio Capello’s most recent squad.

Krasnodar came third in the Russian league that finished last weekend and was just minutes away from qualifying for the Champions League, before an 88th-minute equalizer in its last game allowed CSKA Moscow to take the second of Russia’s two qualifying spots.

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