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Russia’s new national football coach to be named by August — sports minister

July 05, 2016, 16:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A foreign expert may be hired as a head coach of the Russian national football squad in case the Russian Football Union (RFU) fails to find a domestic specialist for this post

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© Alexander Demianchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. A new coach for the Russian national football team will be named by next month, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told journalists on Tuesday.

Asked when the national team’s new head coach would be named, Mutko said "by August."

"[Leonid] Slutsky finished his work, we have thanked him and he will now focus on his work in the [CSKA Moscow] football club," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) said. "We are working on it but I cannot announce the exact date. It can even happen tomorrow."

"We will be pondering a candidacy of a foreign specialist in case we fail to find a Russian one," he added.

Last month the Russian national team lost to Wales 0-3 in its third group stage match of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup and failed to qualify to the next round of Last 16 going back home instead. Head Coach Slutsky told a news conference after the match that someone else should take his place at the helm of the national squad.

Slutsky is also the head coach of the Russian CSKA Moscow football club, which he guided to the champion’s title in several seasons since taking charge of the club in October 2009. He was named in May the country’s best coach after CSKA Moscow won the champion’s title in the Russian Football Premier League’s 2016/2016 season tournament.

On August 7, 2015, the RFU announced that Slutsky was appointed the head coach of the national team in place of previous Italian specialist Fabio Capello. The announcement followed Russia’s 0-1 defeat to Austria in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier in Moscow in June 2015. The defeat put Russia’s chances of qualifying for the European football championship almost to zero.

Slutsky, however, managed to guide the national team to victories in all remaining qualifying matches of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5 and earned the spot for Russia in Europe’s main football tournament.

The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed with 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.

However, Russia emerged the winner only once in four friendly matches it played ahead of the major European football tournament, beating Lithuania by three goals to nothing. There was one draw against Serbia and two defeats to France (2:4) and the Czech Republic (1:2).

Playing in Group B at the Euro Cup, which kicked off on June 10, Russia ended its match against England with 1-1 draw, then lost its encounters with Slovakia and Wales (1-2 and 0-3 respectively). Having finished in the last place of the group, the Russian players, led by Slutsky, returned to Moscow.

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