MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Head Coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello said on Wednesday he decided against lodging complaints with the Russian Football Union (RFU), the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) over the recent issue of his unpaid salaries.
Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the Russian football team’s general manager, had been unpaid between last June and December. According to earlier media reports, RFU’s debt to Italian managers totaled some 600 million rubles ($9.7 million). On February 5, Russian billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov extended 400 million rubles ($5.96 million) loan to the RFU to repay Capello’s wage arrears.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, Capello said that in April he could have severed a contract with the RFU and lodged complaints with FIFA and UEFA demanding compensations but decided against doing so.
Capello’s son Pier Filippo, who acts as his manager, said earlier that the RFU was trying to play with the ruble’s volatility and repay the debt to the Italian coach at the currency exchange rate different from the current one.
Russia’s ruble slumped over the past five months to a record low of 75 rubles to the dollar in mid-December, compared to an average of 38 rubles in September, but rebounded to 53.23 by late December. The Russian currency currently stands at 63 rubles to dollar. It was traded at 33 rubles to the dollar at the start of 2014.
The RFU said in its statement on February 6 that it executed "the necessary financial transactions to repay wages to head coach of the Russian national team Fabio Capello," and thanked both Mutko and Usmanov for their help in the settlement of the debt repayment issue.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS in early February that the extended loan to the RFU would compensate only for 2014 wage arrears repayment to Capello.
"Everything was repaid until January. The question of who will be paying Capello from now on should be addressed to someone else," Mutko said.
The RFU is suffering from financial problems and as of December its budget deficit totaled 500 million rubles ($8.4 million at that time).
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 in July of 2012 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.