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The farce and the furious: Russian coach search panned

Published time: July 11, 2012 15:01
Edited time: July 11, 2012 19:24
Some of he candidates for the Russia job: Rafael Benitez, Harry Redknapp Valery Gazzaev (upper row, from left to right), Hosep Guardiola, Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi (lower row, from left to right). (AFP Photo)

Some of he candidates for the Russia job: Rafael Benitez, Harry Redknapp Valery Gazzaev (upper row, from left to right), Hosep Guardiola, Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi (lower row, from left to right). (AFP Photo)

The Russian football world refuses to treat the list of 13 candidates for the job of the national team’s coach seriously, calling the Russian Football Union’s actions unprofessional and shameful.

­The country’s football governing body revealed the names of the possible Team Russia coaches on their website on Tuesday.

The list of 13 includes Rafael Benitez, Marcelo Bielsa, Valery Gazzaev, Hosep Guardiola, Fabio Capello; Andrey Kobelev, Yury Krasnozhan, Marcello Lippi, Valery Nepomnyashchy, Nikolay Pisarev, Harry Redknapp and Yury Semin.

Former Russia and CSKA Moscow coach Valery Gazzaev wasn’t at all happy to find himself among the “lucky” ones.

What’s happening now with the appointment of the new Russian football coach would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so sad,” he told Sport-Express newspaper. “I am ‘amazed’ by the RFU, who turned the making of a vital decision for the country’s football into a real farce. I imagine how they are laughing at us in Europe, including Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi, who are also on this list.”

“I feel very uncomfortable for myself and the well-known people mentioned on the list, which was posted only to cause unneeded controversy,” the 57-year-old added. “It is clear that this just a ‘smokescreen’ aimed at hiding the RFU officials’ intention to hire yet another foreign coach after those who already failed in the national team. Let's continue moving towards the collapse of the Russian football. Be bold, ladies and gentlemen! The aim is near.”

Former Russian Football Union head and FIFA Vice-President Vyacheslav Koloskov fully shares fully Gazzaev’s opinion on the situation with the national team coach.

“I feel ashamed for the RFU. Just imagine how hard it’ll be to hold preliminary negotiations with 13 candidates,” he said. “It’ll take at least a month, and if you want the negotiations to be conducted properly, then it’s half a year. But there is no time. This is nothing more than a gesture of despair. The RFU just included everybody, who was mentioned as a theoretical candidate for the coaching position in the media in recent weeks, into their list and threw it to the public. ‘You want a list? Here you go!’ Meanwhile, they’ll hold some other talks. Although, I don’t know how that’s possible, with the RFU having no leadership.”

Meanwhile, another candidate for the Russian job, Valery Nepomnyashchy, who led Cameroon to the quarterfinals at the 1990 World Cup, was very surprised to see his name on the list.  

“That’s a good joke,” the 67-year-old commented.

His colleague, Yury Semin, also smiled when he was told about the RFU’s selection.  

“Wow, that’s a huge list,” the Dynamo Kiev manager said in an interview with R-Sport news agency. “It’s hard to make any comments on this. But the list is serious. With plenty of serious people who have some achievements.”

Meanwhile, football expert, Evgeny Lovchev suspects the RFU employees of suffering mental problems and alcoholism.

“There are two scenarios about the appearance of the list of 13,” he told Sovetsky Sport newspaper. “The first version is that they lie to us once again as they traditionally do, treating the fans as fools. The second version is that the list on RFU’s website was put together by a mad (drunk) man.”

“Respected coaches won’t go to this circus, chaos and psychiatric hospital,” Lovchev concluded.

There’s just a month left before Russia’s next game – a friendly against Cameroon – but the country’s football is beheaded, with the national team being coachless and the sport’s governing body having no president.

Both manager Dick Advocaat and RFU head Sergey Fursenko resigned after Team Russia failed to qualify for the playoffs at Euro 2012.