MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Children’s Football League and the Kostroma Football Federation have nominated Nikolai Tolstykh, the ex-president of the Professional Football League, to the post of president of the Russian Football Union.
Tolstykh has agreed to take part in the elections.
Yevgeny Lovchev, a former football player, is another candidate to the post. He was nominated by the All-Russian Football Association led by Anzor Kavazashvili.
Last week, the Krasnodar regional football federation has nominated Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko to the post of president of the Russian Football Union.
“Many positive changes of recent years took place under Vitaly Mutko when he was heading the Russian Football Union (2005-2009),” the Russian Football Union said in a statement published on its website.
“Mutko paid great attention not only to developing professional but also mass children’s and youth football. He strengthened and improved its material basis,” the Russian Football Union went on to say.
Mutko initiated a national project for the construction of football fields for children’s and youth football schools. According to the latest statistics, more than 255,000 people play football in Russia which is 4.9 % of the total population.
“It was Mutko who suggested including a sub-program for developing football in Russia in 2008-2015 in the federal target program of ‘Development of Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation in 2006-2015’, which has significantly increased the number of people playing mass football. New specialized sport football schools are being opened and the geography of youth and children’s competitions and tournaments is being expanded,” the Russian Football Union said in its statement.
Vitaly Mutko headed the Russian Football Union in 2005-2009. He was appointed minister of sport, tourism and youth policy in May 2008 and has been Russia’s sport minister since May 21, 2012.
The post of president of the Russian Football Union has been vacant since its former head Sergei Fursenko resigned after the EURO 2012 Football Championships.
An extraordinary meeting of the Russian Football Union will elect a new president on September 3. A shortlist of candidates will be announced not later than August 3.