Striker Maxim Kanunnikov has denied reports the Russian national football team have been banned from using social media ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, a news report said.
Editor-in-chief of sports website Sport-Express.ru, Artur Petrosyan, said Tuesday on his Twitter account native Italian trainer Fabio Capello had forbidden the players from using social networking sites ahead of the tournament.
"No Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for 23 Russian players going to Brazil. The ban starts today," Petrosyan tweeted Tuesday.
Sports journalist Dimi Simonov, who works with Petrosyan, commented on the tweet saying the ban was unofficial, but confirmed players had been made aware of the request.
But when asked by a Sports-Express reporter whether the ban made him feel "uncomfortable," Kanunnikov denied such a rule was being enforced.
"He has not told anyone personally," Kanunnikov said, Sports-Express reported Wednesday. "The topic has been discussed but it is not categorically forbidden," he said.
Capello, who has a reputation as a disciplinarian, reportedly tried to enact a social media ban as leader of the England national team ahead of the World Cup in 2010, forbidding players from using Twitter and Facebook or publishing columns for newspapers or magazines, Britain's The Telegraph reported.
It was reported that Capello blamed social networking sites for information leaks and did not think they were a necessity for professional athletes.
England players were also banned from wearing flip-flops and shorts in public, as the manager thought they looked sloppy and unprofessional, and bringing their mobile phones to training sessions, so as to avoid distractions, The Telegraph reported.