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Moscow travel agency sues Russian Football Union for $339,000

January 27, 2015, 17:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The statement did not give the grounds for the lawsuit or any other details, while the RFU and Akademservice representatives were unavailable to comment on the issue

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Russian Football Union president Nikolai Tolstyk

Russian Football Union president Nikolai Tolstyk

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. The Moscow Court of Arbitration announced on its website on Tuesday that Moscow travel agency Akademservice submitted a lawsuit with the court against the Russian Football Union (RFU) demanding a compensation of 23 million rubles (over $339,000).

The statement did not give the grounds for the lawsuit or any other details, while the RFU and Akademservice representatives were unavailable to comment on the issue.

Akademservice, founded in 1990, serves up to a million of clients annually and was recently rendering services to sports clubs concerning booking of hotels and airline tickets. The agency also had been rendering support to large-scale sports events such as 2013 Athletics World Championship, the Kremlin Cups, 2005 and 2011 Figure Skating World Championships, 2011 Curling European Championship and some others.

Among the travel agency’s long-term partners are the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Paralympic Committee, the Russian Football premier League, the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, the Kontinental Hockey League as well as over 40 Russian sports federations, including the RFU.

The RFU experiences financial difficulties and as of December its budget deficit totaled 500 million rubles ($8.4 million). Following the session of the RFU’s Executive Committee last month, RFU President Nikolai Tolstykh said that a special anti-crisis commission was intended to be set up to tackle the financial difficulties of the organization.

Italian head coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the team’s general manager, have been unpaid by the RFU for their work for over seven months. According to recent media reports, RFU’s debt to Italian managers totaled some 600 million rubles ($9.2 million).

According to results of the previous inspection of the RFU carried out in November by the Federal Agency for Labor and Employment (Rostrud) the debt stood at 181.5 million rubles, which ought to be repaid within a month, i.e. by December 19.

As the December 19 deadline passed Rostrud announced that it decided to grant an appeal from the country’s governing football body and extended the date for RFU’s required wage arrears payment for another month, i.e. until January 19, 2015. Rostrud, however, imposed financial fines of 40,000 and 4,000 rubles on the RFU and its President Nikolai Tolstykh respectively for the failure to pay salaries on time.

The Italian manager was not paid again as the deadline expired last week and Rostrud ordered another sudden inspection of the RFU. In case Capello is not paid, the RFU faces a financial penalty and Tolstykh may be suspended from his post for the period between six months and two years.

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