A number of media outlets reported citing various football officials that at a session of the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) technical committee on Monday Capello named definite players on the team, accusing them of Russia’s humble play at the 2014 World Cup, which was held in Brazil between June 12 and July 13.
“I never said this,” Capello said in an interview with ITAR-TASS. “We have a lot of witnesses. I never spoke about my players in my life.”
“This is absolutely not true. Because also I am not so stupid to accuse one player if this player will be really important for me for the next games,”
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.
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.
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.