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Coaches of Russian national women’s water polo team claim to be underpaid

The Russian team failed to reach the semifinals of the 2019 FINA World Championships, hosted by South Korea between July 12 and 28, losing to the Australian team in the quarterfinals
Andrei Belofastov and Alexader Gaidukov Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Andrei Belofastov and Alexader Gaidukov
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

GWANGJU /South Korea/, July 22. /TASS/. Coaches of the Russian national women’s water polo team Alexader Gaidukov and Andrei Belofastov are ready to continue their work, but are also prepared to resign after the team’s defeat at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Belofastov said on Monday.

The Russian team failed to reach the semifinals of the 2019 FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championships, hosted by the South Korean city of Gwangju between July 12 and 28, losing to the Australian team in the quarterfinals.

"We work together with Gaidukov under a constant pressure and our contracts with the Russian Sports Ministry are a subject to prolongations every three or six months," Belofastov told journalists. "If they trust us, why appointing us and offering such short-term contracts?"

"At the same time, we are underpaid and, therefore, we can vacate this post anytime in favor of someone else," the Russian coach continued. "The meager salary is also a sign of disrespect. We are the poorest coaches."

Belofastov did not say how much he is paid in total for his work with the national team, however, the coach said that his salary with the Russian national teams’ sports training center is below 30,000 rubles (some $480). He is also not paid extra bonuses from the Russian Water Polo Federation.

"We got used to this situation, this is how we work in the past four years and this is why we are not surprised at anything," he added.

Led by Head Coach Gaidukov and Assistant Coach Belofastov, the Russian national women’s water polo team won the bronze of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

Alexei Vlasenko, the president of the Russian Water Polo Federation, told TASS that the coaches’ behavior is not proper as they complain about their income.

"The main part of the income of our coaches comes from their work with professional clubs, while the Russian national teams’ sports training center is paying them a fixed salary," Vlasenko said.

"They are paid decently for their work with the clubs, therefore it is not proper to complain in this case," the head of the Russian Water Polo Federation stated.

Vlasenko also said that the Russian Water Polo Federation is not paying additional bonuses to coaches for their work with national teams.