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Russian Football Union chief urges change to organization’s ideology

May 31, 2015, 13:50 updated at: May 31, 2015, 14:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The decision to discuss Tolstykh’s dismissal was supported by 307 out of 455 conference delegates, with the required minimum of more than half of the votes
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) should change its ideology from consumption to development, RFU Head Nikolai Tolstykh said on Sunday.

The RFU chief spoke at the organization’s conference, which had voted to discuss the issue of his early resignation over the organization’s poor financial performance. The Russian Football Union has accumulated debts of 1.4 billion rubles ($27 million).

"In 2014, we approved the strategy of football development until 2020. The Executive Committee endorsed the program in a month and we launched its implementation," Tolstykh said in his report.

‘We have held eight regional conferences. All those present here should change the ideology of consumption for the ideology of development. But what is absent today in the RFU is the irresponsible attitude to spending," Tolstykh said.

The RFU current head also said he would defend his reputation with all available legitimate means but had no illusions about his future.

"I’m not building any illusions. I know that not only the football community could be used for preparing the conference. I’ll struggle not for my office but for my reputation. I’ll struggle with all legitimate means," he said.

"I’m ready to accept any decision. I’ll accept it absolutely calmly," Tolstykh said.

"I understand how the voting can take place and which phone calls you [the conference participants] are receiving," the RFU head said.

Russia’s Football Union chief said he had been discharging his duties "honestly."

"You [delegates] have to decide how to vote. But I’ll fight for my reputation because I see persons in the conference hall, with whom I have nothing to talk about football," Tolstykh said.

The decision to discuss Tolstykh’s dismissal was supported by 307 out of 455 conference delegates, with the required minimum of more than half of the votes.

More than 50% of the participants’ votes will suffice to terminate the RFU chief’s powers early.

If Tolstykh is dismissed, RFU First Vice-President Nikita Simonyan will become the organization’s acting head. In this case, the elections of the RFU’s new head will be held in the next three months.

Tolstykh was elected as the RFU head in September 2012 for a four-year term.

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