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Russian football boss resigns after Euro 2012 blunder

Published time: June 25, 2012 18:00
Edited time: June 26, 2012 00:05

Sergey Fursenko (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Pesnya)

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Russian Football Union president Sergey Fursenko has left his post after the country’s national team failed to qualify from the group stages at Euro 2012.

­Fursenko voiced his decision during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the Russian team have ended their participation at Euro 2012,"
Fursenko said during the meeting. "It's a shame because the team was very strong and Dick Advocaat was doing his job very well.”

Despite kicking off their Euro 2012 campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of Czech Republic, the Russian national team only managed to grab one point in the two remaining matches and were left out of the playoffs.  

"I would like to apologize before fans for such a result,"
the 58-year-old added. "I’ve made this hard decision to quit the post of the president of the Russian Football Union."

Putin accepted the resignation and thanked Fursenko for his efforts as head of Russian football.

“I do hope that everything will fall into place [in Russian football],”
the Russian head of state said.

A former Zenit Saint Petersburg president, Fursenko was elected the RFU’s head back in 2010.

Switching Russian club football to the European calendar and inviting overpaid Dick Advocaat, who couldn’t achieve a result with the national squad, were the official’s most criticized initiatives.

Fursenko's resignation comes as no surprise as Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, said last week that the country’s football is “moving in the wrong direction.”

The RFU is reported to be gathering an urgent meeting to elect a new president, with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, State Duma chairman Boris Gryzlov, and Mutko, who’ll be forced to combine jobs, being named as the candidates.