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MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Members of the Executive Board of the Russian Football Union (RFU) voted at its Thursday session to approve Stanislav Cherchesov for the post of Head Coach of the Russian national football team.
"Cherchesov has been approved for the post with the contract valid until August 2018," Igor Lebedev, a member of the RFU Executive Board and a vice speaker of the Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower house), told TASS earlier in the day.
Besides Cherchesov, other candidates put forward to vie for taking the helm of the national football squad ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia were Kurban Berdyev, Alexander Borodyuk and Sergei Semak.
Lebedev also said that Cherchesov had been delegated the ambitious task of taking the squad to the semifinal stage in the next FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by Russia in less than three years.
"The main task articulated by RFU President Vitaly Mutko is to reach the semifinal stage of the 2018 World Cup, but Cherchesov expressed his determination to go into the final match," the RFU executive official said.
Lebedev was the only one, who abstained in the unanimous vote in favor of Cherchesov.
"I believe that the currently set mission is incorrect," he said. "Cherchesov will now work in a ‘do or die’ manner and perhaps he will help the national team put up a decent performance. But what is next, will there be national football afterwards? The initial goal must be to form a good, competitive team."
"The team’s head coach should be the one to supervise the development of nationwide football and its institutions," Mutko, who is also the president of the RFU, said. "Cherchesov will also chair the Coaching Council and the Technical Committee."
The RFU Technical Committee serves as an expert council and is in charge of all issues regarding the national football team and of drafting proposals for the Executive Committee to better the squad. The Technical Committee, previously chaired by RFU Vice President Nikita Simonyan, also executes the powers of the Coaching Council.
Speaking before the vote of the RFU Executive Committee early on Thursday, a source close to the matter told TASS that the anticipated annual salary budget for the new coaching team of the national football squad would stand at some 2.6 million euros ($2.9 million).
"The signed contract is valid for two years, i.e. until the end of the 2018 World Cup," the source said in an interview with TASS. "The mooted salary for the whole coaching staff is 2.6 million euros per year."
Before being appointed today to the post of the national team’s head coach, Cherchesov managed Poland’s Legia Warsaw FC, which he guided to the title of the country’s champions and the Cup of Poland in the 2015-2016 season.
Cherchesov, a former goaltender of the Soviet and Russian national football teams, also coached Austrian football clubs Kufstein and Wacker Tirol, Russian football clubs Spartak Moscow (2007-2008), Zhemchuzhina Sochi (2010-2011), Terek Grozny (2011-2013), Amkar (2013-2014) and Dinamo Moscow (2014-2015).
The Russian national football team’s earliest scheduled international fixtures are two friendly matches: the first, an August 31 away game against the Turkish team in Antalya and the second, a September 6 home game in Moscow against the national team of Ghana.
Following its session in late July, The RFU Technical Committee issued a recommendation to appoint a national expert for the post of the national football team’s next head coach.
In June, the Russian national team was shut out by Wales 0-3 in its third group stage match of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France and failed to qualify for the next round of the Last 16, returning home instead. Ex-Head Coach Leonid Slutsky announced at a news conference after the match that someone else should take his place at the helm of the national squad.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup after the country won the bid to host the world’s major football event at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a bid from England, a joint bid by Portugal and Spain and a joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country 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 Russia’s capital.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held next year between June 17 and July 1 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.