Russia’s captain, Andrey Arshavin, has said that fans’ frustration over the national squad’s disappointing Euro 2012 performance isn’t his problem.
The Little Russian had a chat with a group of disappointed supporters in the lobby of the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw after his team 1-0 lost to Greece on Saturday and failed to qualify for the last eight.
"The fact that we haven’t met your expectations isn’t our problem,” Arshavin is cited by Gazeta.ru as saying. “It's your problem. When I’m sitting in the State Duma, I’ll be held accountable before you.”
“We lost because we didn’t score and the Greeks did. These conversations won’t change the result of the game,” the 31-year-old added.
Meanwhile, former Russian Football Union head and FIFA vice-president, Vyacheslav Koloskov, said Arshavin should be deprived of the captain’s armband after such words.
"Such words are not worthy of a captain,” he told Championat.com. “Arshavin has never been in the same shoes as those who, at their own expense, travel long distances to support the team. Recently, I met people from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, who specifically came to watch good football and cheer for the national team. Many of them risk their health.”
“The whole team has to bow low before these guys. The supporters come to see good football and total commitment from the players and the desire to stand up for their country. Instead, the team captain says it is not the players’ problem, but the fans. I believe that a captain like this shouldn’t be in the team," he added.
Arshavin made three appearances for his country at the European Championships and played a part in three of Russia’s goals.