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MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Nikita Simonyan, the acting president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said on Thursday he would first of all have to consult with members of the organization’s Executive Committee before signing a deciding document on national football team Head Coach Capello’s future work in Russia.
"I believe that I have no right at all not to consult with the Executive Committee," Simonyan told a news conference. "I am ready to sign the decision made by the Executive Committee."
In an interview with TASS on Wednesday, Simonyan said that Capello’s future work with the national squad would be decided at the next session of the RFU Executive Committee’s session on June 24 in Moscow.
"The decision will be made by the Executive Committee," Simonyan said. "Members of the Executive Committee will be able to vote either for the termination of the contract with Capello or against it."
Following Russia’s 0-1 defeat to Austria in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier in Moscow on Sunday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko announced that the future of Capello at the helm of the national football team would be decided in the nearest future.
Sunday’s qualifier defeat in Moscow placed Russia’s chances of travelling to France in 2016 for the Euro Cup in extreme jeopardy. The Russian national team is now ranked 3rd in its qualifying Group G with 8 points below 2nd ranked Sweden (12 points), while the Austrian team increased its lead over the rest of the five national teams in the group to 16 points.
National team’s defeat on Sunday raised a storm of criticism not only among the football fans and sports experts, but among Russian politicians as well.
For instance, Igor Ananskikh, the head of the State Duma’s Committee for Physical Culture and Sport, called on the Russian Football Union (RFU) to immediately ditch the contract with Head Coach Fabio Capello.
"Yesterday’s match was the last chance and everyone saw that we are not heading forward but are on the fast track backwards," Ananskikh said in an interview with TASS on Monday.
Before Sunday’s 0-1 qualifier defeat to Austria, the Russian national team started with 4-0 victory over Liechtenstein in September, had two 1-1 draws in October against Sweden and Moldova, lost to the Austrian side 0-1 in November, and received 3-0 technical victory in the forfeited qualifying match against Montenegro on March 27.
Italian phenomenon Capello took over the national team as the head coach in July of 2012 and managed to help the Russian 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.
Russia did not severe the contract with Capello after the Russian team’s weak 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.
In late April Russia’s daily Novaya Gazeta published a copy of a contract inked by the RFU with Italian manager Capello in January of 2014.
In line with the document, which was signed until July 2018 and stipulated an annual salary of 7 million euros ($7.6 million) for the Italian coach, the RFU practically had no rights of severing the contract unilaterally without paying a penalty, while Capello was granted such opportunity.
Earlier media reports estimated the compensation for RFU’s unilateral severance of the contract with Capello at some $25 million.