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Russian football’s new head coach to be domestic specialist — sports minister

July 14, 2015, 14:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Vitaly Mutko, a Russian coach knows the players and the mentality, and this is important because maximum efforts must be implied to qualify for the 2016 Euro Cup
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Vitaly Mutko

Vitaly Mutko

© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. The new head coach of the Russian national football team, to replace dismissed Italian manager Fabio Capello, will be a domestic specialist, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Tuesday.

"We are currently free to do whatever we want," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "We can begin negotiating work with possible candidates starting today. I believe we have no other variant besides inviting a Russian specialist for the post."

The Russian Football Union (RFU) announced earlier in the day that it reached an agreement with Capello on the early termination of the contract with the Italian specialist on his work in the capacity of the national team’s head coach.

"We would like to have the Russian coach," the sports minister said. "He knows the players and our mentality. We must imply maximum efforts to qualify for the [2016] Euro Cup. If we miss the tournament it will be detrimental for the development of our football and young players."

Russia’s new football coach to be named in next two weeks

The name of the new head coach of the Russian national football team will be announced within the next two weeks, a senior Russian football official said on Tuesday.

"We will know the name of the new head coach in the course of the next two weeks," Sergey Anokhin, a member of the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) Executive Committee, told a news conference.

"We have agreed that the next session of the RFU Executive Committee will discuss the candidacy of the new head coach," Anokhin said. "The session is likely to take place only after the match of the national team on September 5. So I believe that the RFU will conclude a contract on its own and the Executive Committee will discuss it later."

Situation around Fabio Capello's dismissal

Italian specialist Fabio Capello worked honestly and responsibly in the capacity of the head coach of the Russian national football team, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Tuesday.

"Capello worked honestly and responsibly," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "But sport is cruel. There must be always the result."

Fabio Capello does not hold negative emotions against the Russian Football Union (RFU) after the country’s governing body of football announced an early termination of its contract with the Italian specialist, Capello’s aide Oreste Cinquini said.

The RFU announced earlier in the day that it reached an agreement with Capello on the early termination of the contract with the Italian specialist on his work in the capacity of the national team’s head coach.

Russian football team’s general manager Cinquini, who is also leaving the team alongside Capello, said the 69-year-old coach holds no "negative emotions" against the RFU because this is how the world of football goes.

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 fate of Italian manager 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 June 14 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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