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MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Nikolai Tolstykh, the newly elected president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said he would start his work in his post by creating a team of likeminded people.
“I will start my work by creating a team of likeminded people who will solve the tasks set to the Union in a responsible and proper manner,” Tolstykh said at a press conference on Monday, September 3.
“There are many specialists in the RFU staff who can perform these functions. At the same time, there will be corrections, including among the personnel. But all of them will be aimed at improving the image of Russian football. I am guided entirely by the interests of football development,” he said.
Tolstykh also commented on some problems in Russian football. “Complex interethnic relations are an important topic that worries not only the sport leadership but also the leadership of the country. We will work out a system for solving these problems as soon as possible. We will meet with all of the interested persons shortly in order to work out comprehensive measures. Football arenas should not be a place for such incidents. As for the people who come to stadiums with such aims, it’s a problem not only for the RFU and we hope for the help of law enforcement agencies,” Tolstykh said.
Speaking about the budget of the Union, he admitted that he was not familiar with the documents which contained the amounts mentioned by mass media.
“We will try to sort things out on the basis of the documents so that the money intended for football stays in football. As for the limit for football mercenaries and the ‘autumn-spring’ system, I can only say that this needs to be studied to see if these changes are beneficial. I personally see no obvious advantages in the transition to the ‘autumn-spring’ system, but this does not mean that ill-considered decisions will be made. We will use a calm approach,” Tolstykh said.
He also stressed the need to review the work of the “junior teams – youth team – first division” chain. “We need to make an even review of the work of the teams and each coach, hear out specialists both from the RFU and invited ones. We will make necessary corrections in the work of the national teams. It’s time to start thinking about preparing a national team for the World Cup 2018. Creating a competitive team is a challenging task. So we will work out plans and start implementing them shortly,” Tolstykh said.
Tolstykh was elected the new president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) at its extraordinary conference on Monday, September 3.
He received the absolute majority of votes in the second round (over 50 percent) – 148 votes.
The president of the Russian Football Premier League, Sergei Pryadkin, received 124 votes; the executive director of the mini-football club “New Generation”, Valery Beletsky, got 1 vote.
After the first round, Vice-President of the Institute of Independent Expert Evaluation and Law and the president of the Football Development Fund, Alisher Aminov; State Duma Deputy Chairman Igor Lebedev; and former Soviet and Spartak Moscow football player and now Sovetsky Sport newspaper observer Yevgeny Lovchev withdrew from the race.
Zenit Izhevsk football club Deputy Director Vladimir Tumayev received no votes.