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MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Russian Football Union’s (RFU) record of wage arrears to foreign specialists swelled on Wednesday as Spanish specialist in refereeing Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda said the union owed him as well but did not disclose the exact sum.
According to Russian media reports earlier on the day, the RFU’s wage arrears to Garcia-Aranda, who acted as an adviser to the union’s president on refereeing matters for over three years, stood at €200,000.
In a telephone conversation with TASS, Garcia-Aranda said there was a debt, which RFU had to repay him for his services of an adviser, but did not name the sum citing confidentiality. According to the specialist, his contract with the RFU expired on August 1 and since then he had been waiting for the money to be paid for his services.
In spring of 2011 Garcia-Aranda took the post of an adviser to the RFU president, who was Sergey Fursenko at that time. He was invited to the post to help the RFU increase qualification of Russian refrees and help the country in preparations for the 2018 World Cup. His contract with the RFU expired last August.
The Spanish adviser said current RFU President Nikolai Tolstykh promised him to repay the debt as soon as possible. Garcia-Aranda said he was aware of the difficult financial situation in the union, but he also knew that the RFU was one of the most respected and serious national federation in Europe and therefore he believed Tolstykh.
However, he said that he cannot wait forever as he was a professional employee and had to support his family. Garcia-Aranda added that he would hold a meeting with Tolstykh in the nearest future and they would discuss the deadline for his wage arrears repayment.
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 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.
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 when Italian phenomenon Capello took over the team as the head coach and managed to help the Russian national squad to qualify for the 2014 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 and raising serious concerns in the country about the team’s performance in the next World Cup, which would be hosted by Russia in 2018.
However, Russia did not severe the contract with Capello after the Russian team’s performance at the World Cup in Brazil and the Italian manager also decided to stay with the Russian squad as the head coach until the year of 2018 as stipulated by the contract terms.
The country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup almost four 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.
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.