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MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Russia’s participation in the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France is not stipulated by the country’s contract with the national team’s Head Coach Fabio Capello, but the Russian squad will definitely qualify for the major European football tournament, the Italian coach told journalists on Wednesday.
President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) Nikolay Tolstykh said earlier that Russia’s failure to qualify for the 2016 Euro Cup would be considered as Capello’s non-compliance with his contract obligations.
Capello, however, told a news conference on Wednesday that there was no such provision in his contract with the RFU, concluded in 2012 and extended for four more years in 2014.
Russia is currently holding the third place in its Group G of the 2016 Euro Cup qualifiers with five points after four matches played. The national team stands behind Austria (10 points/ and Sweden (6 points) and is scheduled to play its next group match on March 27 against Montenegro.
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.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over 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.