MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. The Executive Committee of the Russian Football Union (RFU) voted on Tuesday for the ‘6+5’ limit on the foreign players allowed to play in Russian football clubs, a source in the country’s governing body of football told TASS.
"The Executive Committee has voted to change the legionnaires’ quota from the formula of ’10 foreigners plus 15 Russians’ to ‘6+5’ in the field," the source said.
If the new limit, which allows 6 foreign and 5 domestic footballers to be playing in the field simultaneously, is approved by the Russian Sports Ministry, the RFU will make relevant changes to its regulations.
The Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) has been until recently exploiting the ‘7+4’ formula, which means that no more than seven foreign players can be simultaneously playing on the field during the league’s matches.
Last December the RFU’s Executive Committee approved a limit for foreign players allowed to be submitted by football clubs before each playing season at a formula of 10 foreigners plus 15 Russian players (10+15). The formula did not stipulate the number of foreigners allowed to be playing simultaneously in the field during the match time.
RFU’s decision on the 10+15 formula of foreign players in the national football drew criticism not only from Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, but as well as from Igor Ananskikh, the head of the State Duma’s Committee for Physical Culture and Sport. They both said the new formula was excessive and undermined the development of football in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on July 1 a bill regulating a number of foreign athletes allowed to participate in sports competitions in Russia.
The law envisages granting the Russian Sports Ministry the right of establishing and coordinating the limit of foreign athletes allowed to compete in Russia, who are also referred to as ‘legionnaires.’ Each sport would have its own limit for attracting legionnaires, according to the bill.
The new law also stipulates obligatory criteria for foreign players, including their athletic qualification, age, period of permanent stay in Russia as well as athlete’s period of training in Russia and results achieved while competing for Russian sports clubs.
The issue of legionnaires in Russian sports is in particular attention regarding the football in Russia, which is set to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Russia is already in its full-swing preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.
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.