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Over 50% of Russians want Capello to leave national football team — public poll

July 06, 2015, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Nineteen percent said the Italian manager should remain at the helm of the national squad, while 22% responded that they "did not care at all" whether Capello stays or leaves
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© TASS/Artiom Korotaev

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Every second of the polled Russians spoke in favor of the dismissal of Fabio Capello from the post of the head coach of the national football team, according to a survey of a state-run pollster published on Monday.

Data collected by the Russian Public Opinion Center (VTsIOM), showed that 53% of the polled Russians wanted Capello to leave from his post as the Russian national football team continued showing poor results.

Nineteen percent said the Italian manager should remain at the helm of the national squad, while 22% responded that they "did not care at all" whether Capello stays or leaves.

The poll was conducted on June 20-12 among 1,600 respondents across Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.5%

The Russian Football Union (RFU) Executive Committee considered at its session on June 24 an early termination of the contract with Capello, but failed to come to a common decision and agreed to continue talks on the issue.

Following Russia’s 0-1 defeat to Austria in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier in Moscow on June 14, 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.

Qualifier’s defeat in Moscow in mid-June placed in extreme jeopardy Russia’s chances of travelling to France in 2016 for the Euro Cup. 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.

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.

Russia’s daily Novaya Gazeta published in late April 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.

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