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Russian billionaire grants soft loan to Russian Football Union to pay debt to Capello

February 05, 2015, 21:40 UTC+3

The debt to Italian head coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello is shameful and gives grounds to call Russian Football Union head Nikolay Tolstykh inefficient, Alisher Usmanov said

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Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Nikolskiy

MOSCOW, February 5 /TASS/. Businessman Alisher Usmanov has granted a 400-million-ruble (about $5.9 million) soft loan to the Russian Football Union to pay an outstanding salary debt to Russian national football team’s head coach Fabio Capello, the businessman’s press service said in a statement released on Thursday.

Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the team’s general manager, have been unpaid since June 2014.

"I am a member of the supervisory board of the Russia-2018 organizing committee, which is in charge of the preparation for the World Cup," Usmanov said.

"I share the concerns of the Russian sport minister regarding the activities of Fabio Capello, the Russian national team’s head coach. I consider the situation that has been created by the RFU’s current leadership to be intolerable. It is a shame when a person who works for Russia is not paid for his work. I deemed it necessary to interfere in the situation. As far as I know the RFU owes 400 million rubles (about $5.9 million) to Capello. I have granted a target soft loan to the RFU which it can use only for paying off the outstanding debt (to the head coach)," Usmanov said.

Capello headed the Russian national football team in the summer of 2012; in January 2014, he extended the contract till 2018.

Usmanov was critical of the Russian Football Union’s leadership.

"I advise the president of the Russian Football Union, Nikolay Tolstykh, to assess his personal contribution to the development of Russian football and the training of the Russian national team for the domestic World Cup," the businessman said.

"What can be more important than a good performance by our team at home? The team should have all the necessary conditions for full-fledged training already now. We cannot reduce the whole situation to an absurdity. This is a good reason for assessing the incapacity of the RFU leader," Usmanov stressed.

Tolstykh was elected president of the Russian Football Union in September 2012 for four years.

Alisher Usmanov owns the Mediaholding Company and the Kommersant publishing house; he is a co-owner of the Metalloinvest holdings; the DST Global companies and the Group; the Muz-TV music television channel and the Arsenal football club (London).

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