MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) has paid the salary for February to Italian head coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the team’s general manager, an RFU management source told TASS on Friday.
"Capello's salary for February has been paid," the source said.
Capello and Cinquini had been unpaid since last June. According to earlier media reports, RFU’s debt to Italian managers totalled 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 salary arrears.
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 a currency exchange rate different from the current one.
The source said that a decision on the currency rate to calculate the sum of the eight-month debt would be made in the near future.
Russia’s ruble slumped over the past five months to a record low of 75 to the dollar in mid-December, compared to an average of 38 in September, but rebounded to 53.23 by late December. The Russian currency currently stands at 62.3 rubles to dollar. It was traded at 33 rubles to the dollar at the start of 2014.
The Russian national squad experienced a string of setbacks over the past decade, failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and the 2010 championship in South Africa to the dismay of Russian football fans.
Things changed when Italian phenomenon Capello took over the team as head coach in July 2012 and managed to help the Russian national squad 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, to 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 decided to stay with the Russian squad as head coach until the year of 2018, as stipulated by the contract terms.