National football squad waiting for verdict

Today President of Russia’s Football Union Vyacheslav Koloskov made a statement that disappointed those expecting to see a foreign specialist at the post of the Russian squad coach. After bad luck of the Russian football squad at the World Cup, majority of Russian sports mass media got obsessed with an idea that a foreign coach is to be invited to the team. Russia’s leading sports newspaper Sport-Express has launched a so-called propaganda campaign in this connection.

In Koloskov’s words, “not a single foreign football specialist has been yet offered to become the coach of Russia’s team.” It was his reaction to recent publications about alleged negotiations with Richard Meller-Nilson held on the problem (Nilson was coach of Denmark’s squad when it became the champion of Europe in 1992). There are some other foreigners on the list of alleged candidates to the coach post, Nilson, Carlos Alberto Pareira, Philippe Troussier are among them, but Vyacheslav Koloskov has not talked to the men on the problem yet. Russia’s Football Union would like mostly to appoint a Russian coach; candidatures of CSKA coach Valery Gazzayev and Moscow’s Lokomotiv Yury Syomin are the top-priority ones.

Unfortunately, a wonderful person and good coach Valery Nepomnyashchy is not considered a suitable candidate for the post of Russia’s squad coach. The man took the squad of Cameroon, that was unfamiliar for anyone then, to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup. Sports columnist Vasily Utkin says about Valery Nepomnyashchy: “The best coach in the world, that is also confirmed by years-long practice in many countries.” The columnist is distressed with the fact that the man can not be elected now the Russian squad coach.

Vasily Utkin says: “To become Russian squad’s coach, it is necessary to belong to some clan. Indeed, it is large-scale politics; it is not enough to be only elected to become the coach. Where is money supposed to come from? If Yury Syomin is appointed to the post, a railway clan is to be mobilized, as Russia’s Football Union has got no money of itself in fact. If Valery Gazzayev is appointed to the post, some resources are sure to appear to finance the squad. Valery Nepomnyashchy has got no sources of financing at all. If the coach is invited to the team, the team will require close attention and financing of the government within the whole contract period. Unfortunately, football in Russia is not a state system, it is not a process. At the same time, ambitions of this sphere are great, its objective is to attract more and more money from sponsors. Clans are sure to divide the squad, and nothing will prevent it because it is really convenient for everyone. Four years will pass, and everything will repeat once again.”

The other day Sport-Express held a special poll on the Internet; football fans were asked, who was to be appointed coach of the Russian football squad. 40% of the respondents say, a foreign specialist is to be invited, 24,5% say that Valery Gazzayev should be appointed the coach of the Russian team, 10,6% support candidature of Yury Syomin, 8,8% - of Anatoly Byshovets, 7,3% - of Oleg Romantsev, 5,1% of respondents say, some other Russian specialist should be appointed to the position, and 0,6% support candidature of Mikhail Gershkovich.

Candidature of the Russian squad coach is to be considered at a session of Russia’s Football Union on July 8; at the same time, it is not ruled out that no final decision can be passed at the session. In any case, Vyacheslav Koloskov is not absolutely sure about it.

It is very popular now to invite foreign specialists to national squads of the world. Will it be suitable for Russia? In any case, appointment of some foreign specialist instead of Oleg Romantsev should not be an end in itself, every particular candidature should be thoroughly considered. To my mind, it would be optimal to consider the candidature of Bora Milutinovic who coached five squads for World Cups: Mexico, 1986; Costa-Rica, 1990; the USA, 1994; Nigeria, 1998; China, 2002. The coach managed to achieved considerable progress with each of the squads. By the way, Bora Milutinovic is of Slavic origin, he is a Serbian.

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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Author`s name: Editorial Team