MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) will likely be granted a loan to repay wage arrears to Italian head coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.
Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the Russian football team’s general manager, have been unpaid for about eight months. According to earlier media reports, the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) debt to Italian managers totaled some 600 million rubles ($9 million).
"Financial aid will most likely be provided through a loan," Mutko told TASS. "The debt to Capello is the responsibility of the RFU and it must deal with it."
Mutko earlier said that the financing source to repay wage arrears to Capello would be specified within the next two days.
According to results of an inspection carried out in November by the Federal Agency for Labor and Employment (Rostrud) the RFU’s debt to Capello alone 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 in January 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 RFU experiences financial difficulties and as of December its budget deficit totaled 500 million rubles ($8.4 million at that time). Following the session of the RFU’s Executive Committee in December, Tolstykh said that a special anti-crisis commission was intended to be set up to tackle the financial difficulties of the organization.
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.