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Russian sports chief rules out alternatives for Slutsky at helm of national football squad

October 29, 2015, 19:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Leonid Slutsky managed to guide the national team to victories in all matches under his management starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5
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Russian national football team coach Leonid Slutsky

Russian national football team coach Leonid Slutsky

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) wants to continue its work with Leonid Slutsky, the current head coach of the national football squad, and sees no alternative candidates for the post at the issue, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.

"We are satisfied with Slutsky’s work and there is no necessity of looking for other candidates," Mutko told journalists. "He [Slutsky] has also a desire of working with us."

"I believe that in the coming days we will settle all the issues remaining," Mutko, who is also the president of the RFU and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, said.

Following Russia’s qualifying match defeat to Austria in mid-June the national football team’s coaching staff saw a major overhaul. The previously Italian-dominated staff was dismissed along with former Head Coach Fabio Capello and Russia’s Leonid Slutsky was appointed in early August to take the helm of the team.

Slutsky managed to guide the national team to victories in all matches under his management starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5.

The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed by a crushing 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein three days later and then he took the team to victories over Moldova (2-1) on October 9 and Montenegro (2-0) on October 12.

Russia’s ambitions to be among the top world’s best national teams are fueled by the country’s current preparations for hosting the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup and 2108 World Cup.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, Zenit-Arena in St. Petersburg, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.

The country won the bid to host the 2018 global football championship 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.

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