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Russian Football Union must be transparent, open to public — sports minister

August 28, 2015, 14:26 UTC+3
The elections of the RFU president will be held in Moscow on September 2 at an extraordinary session of the Russian governing body of football
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© TASS/Alexandr Sherbak

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) needs to overhaul the administration system as its work must be transparent and open to the public, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, a sole candidate for the post of the union’s presidency, told TASS on Friday.

The elections of the RFU president will be held in Moscow on September 2 at an extraordinary session of the Russian governing body of football.

"The RFU will be more transparent and open," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "We need people to see what is going on inside the organization. There is a serious overhaul of the administration’s system ahead of us. It will require some time, of course, to put everything in order."

"We will be hiring people, who want to work with football and are able to do it professionally," the Russian sports minister added.

Mutko’s only rival in the race for the RFU presidency was Igor Lebedev, but he officially withdrew his candidacy on Tuesday.

Lebedev, a deputy speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, initially stated his intention against running for the RFU’s presidency in late July and on Tuesday he told TASS that he sent an official letter to the country’s governing body of football asking to remove his candidacy from the race.

The 42-year-old Russian lawmaker earlier stated that he wanted to focus more on his election to the RFU’s Executive Committee after he learnt that Mutko agreed to run for the union’s presidency.

Former RFU President Nikolay Tolstykh, who headed the organization since September of 2012, laid down his mandate after the organization’s Executive Committee voted at its session on May 31 in favor of his early dismissal. Nikita Simonyan is currently the acting RFU president until the next extraordinary elections.

The 56-year-old Russian sports minister occupied the post of the RFU president between April 2005 and November 2009. The country’s football saw many positive shifts under his leadership and the national team, coached at that time by Dutch manager Guus Hiddink, reached the semifinal stage of the 2008 UEFA Euro Cup, hosted jointly by Austria and Switzerland.

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