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MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) decided against proposing its candidacy for a seat in the Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) as it was recommended earlier by Michel Platini, the chief of Europe’s governing football body, RFU President Emeritus Vyacheslav Koloskov told TASS on Friday.
“I have raised the issue at today’s session of proposing a candidate to UEFA’s Executive Committee,” Koloskov said. “RFU President Nikolai Tolstykh, who recently met with UEFA President Michel Platini, said in response that in line with the new approach to the formation of the organization’s executive committee, one country cannot be represented at the same time both in UEFA and FIFA.”
“Russia has its representative in FIFA Executive Committee and he is Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko,” Koloskov said. “Therefore we decided against proposing a candidate to the UEFA Executive Committee.”
RFU’s honorary president said that being a member of FIFA Executive Committee, Mutko has the right to attend sessions of UEFA Executive Committee as well but has no right to vote at them.
Nikolai Ryashentsev was representing Russia, which was part of the Soviet Union at that time, between 1954 and 1966. In 1966 he was elected to the Executive Committee of Europe’s governing football body and held that post until 1994.
RFU President Emeritus Koloskov, represented Russia in UEFA’s Executive Committee between 1994 and 2009. Sergey Fursenko, RFU’s former president, has been a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee since 2011, but his term expires this March.
UEFA Executive Committee consists of 17 members including President Platini. The deadline for submissions of the candidacies for the seats in UEFA’s Executive Committee had been set for January 24. The elections will place at the XXXIX Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna on 24 March 2015.
The deadline for the submission of candidacies for the post of UEFA president passed on December 24 and Platini, who paid a visit to Moscow earlier this week, was the only registered candidate for the election in March.
Platini, 59, is a former French football player and manager. Considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini was elected for the post of UEFA president in January of 2007 and was reelected for the second term in March of 2011.
Over three months ago, FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that Platini would be the chief coordinator of Russia’s organization of the 2018 World Cup on behalf of the FIFA international football. Blatter said that Platini would chair Bureau 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which is a coordinating body on the organization of the global football event that would take place in Russia in less than four years.
Russia won the bid to host the football competition four years ago in a tight race against a joint challenge from England, Portugal and Spain and the combined bid by Belgium and The Netherlands.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.