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Russian football official says Capello never blamed any particular players

July 29, 2014, 13:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“The session was built on a constructive dialogue with Russia’s leading football specialists,” Russian Football Union says
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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Fabio Capello, the head coach of the Russian national football team, did not point out any particular players on the squad, accusing them of the team’s poor performance at this year’s world championship, the first vice president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) said on Tuesday.

A number of media outlets reported citing various football officials that at a session of the RFU’s technical committee on Monday Capello named definite players on the team, blaming them for Russia’s humble play at the 2014 World Cup, which was held in Brazil between June 12 and July 13.

“The session was built on a constructive dialogue with Russia’s leading football specialists,” Nikita Simonyan, who is also the chairman of the RFU technical committee, said.

Monday’s session to analyze Russia’s performance at the recent global football tournament was attended by all members of the national team’s coaching staff, coaches of the Russian national youth teams, as well as by head coaches of all clubs playing in the Russian Football Premier League and Russia’s leading football experts.

“I emphasize the fact that Fabio Capello tried to give answers as full as possible and in a consistent manner to questions delivered by participants of the session concerning the Russian national team’s performance at the world championship and named a number of reasons why the team failed to clear the group stage and advance to the knock-out rounds,” Simonyan said.

“The coach, however, did not bring any kind of accusations in regard to players, contradictory to a number of media interviews on the matter with particular participants of the session,” Simonyan said. “Moreover, Capello reiterated that the Russian team did not experience any sorts of organizing problems in its preparations for the World Cup.”

Being rumored to be the highest paid national coach in the world, Italian phenomenon Capello managed to help the Russian national team to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil. The team, however, failed to clear the first stage of the much-anticipated global tournament putting their coach in the center of stern criticism.

Disapproval of Capello and his squad’s performance at the World Cup reached the Russian parliament in early July, when one of the lawmakers urged the Italian coach to return part of the money that Russia paid him under the contract for the “shameful defeat” at the championship.

“I am addressing Fabio Capello. You received 800 million rubles [$23 million] for a shameful defeat. Give the money back, or at least half of it,” Oleg Pakholkov, a lawmaker from A Just Russia political party, said addressing the parliament.

The Russian national squad experienced a string of setbacks over the past decade failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and 2010 championship in South Africa to the great dismay of the Russian football fans. Things changed, however, when Capello was named the head coach of the Russian national football team in July of 2012, replacing Dutch manager Dick Advocaat at the post.

Time will tell whether Capello would part with the Russian squad, but the national team has four years to improve its game before they will be playing as the hosts at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over three years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Shortly before Brazil’s fabulous city of Rio de Janeiro dropped the curtains on the 2014 World Cup with the final Germany-Argentina clash on July 13, the baton of the global football tournament’s hosting nations was passed on to Russia.

The symbolic hand-over ceremony of the right to host the World Cup tournament was held at the iconic over 74,700-seat capacity Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and was attended by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Blatter said earlier that he intended to pay a visit to Russia in September to monitor the preparation work for the championship in 2018.

Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 out of the earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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