Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Soccer-Sports Minister Mutko Named Head of Debt-Ridden Russian RFU

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko will have to address the severe cash crunch plaguing the country's football association (RFU) after he was unanimously elected its president on Wednesday.

Mutko was the only candidate in the election after State Duma Vice Speaker Igor Lebedev, the only other person who had registered, pulled out at the end of July.

"I have been working as the sports minister for seven years already. However, given the situation that has occurred within our football organization, I decided to take up the challenge," Mutko told the conference.

"The most important thing is to pay off the debts that the RFU owes and they are huge. I don't want to dramatize the situation, but we are basically on the edge of going bankrupt," the new RFU president added.

"The first step I will take at the RFU will be to make sure that football is going in the right direction. It is not very good when no one understands where all the decisions are being taken and who is taking them."

Mutko was president of the RFU from April 2005 until November 2009. The organization was subsequently run by Sergei Fursenko and Nikolai Tolstykh.

Tolstykh left his post on May 31, following a vote of no confidence from RFU members.

"Mutko is the best candidate for the post of the RFU president," said Nikita Simonyan, who had been the acting head of Russian football's governing body for the last three months.

"This is certainly the case given his experience. He has been the president of Zenit, then was in charge of the Premier League and the RFU. No one will be able to organize the 2018 World Cup like he will be able to."

The RFU president will hold office for one year and new elections will be held in 2016 to elect a head for a four-year term.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more