Football: Russia says Capello staying despite PSG offer

June 21, 2013 - 12:00:00 am
MOSCOW: Italian Fabio Capello is expected to stay on in his job as boss of Russia's national side until at least the 2014 World Cup, Russian officials said, despite reportedly receiving an offer to join French big spenders Paris Saint-Germain.

 

Former England manager Capello joined the Russian national team in 2012 on a mission to bring it up to world class standard for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2018 edition which Russia will itself host.

 

The Russian press said Thursday that Capello's son and agent Pierfilippo had held negotiations in the French capital on behalf of his father the previous day but that he had failed to reach an agreement with PSG.

 

"The Russian Football Union (RFU) has a contract with him (Capello) until the end of the 2014 World Cup. The RFU is happy with his work and expects him to serve out the contract until the end," the RFU said in an official statement.

 

"All the conditions of the current contract are being fulfilled," it added.

 

Russian media said the RFU released its statement late Wednesday after it was sure that Capello would indeed be staying on as coach.

 

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who spearheaded the import of Capello to Russia, also appeared confident, saying "there is no need to discuss this issue" (his departure to PSG), the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

 

Mutko added that he would like to extend the contract further and have Capello see Russia right through to its home 2018 World Cup.

 

"It would be great if the team went to the World Cup and already knew its coach for the next cycle," he added.

 

Russia's Sport Express daily said Capello and PSG had been close to agreeing terms but talks broke down over the legal small print, in particular the notice period he was required to give the RFU.

 

"I am staying in Russia," the Sovetsky Sport daily quoted Capello as saying while on holiday in his native Italy.

 

Capello has so far proven a popular coach for Russia's traditionally underperforming side, giving it a good chance of qualification for 2014 in a tough group and showing his trademark tactical nous.

 

Known as "Don Fabio" in Russia, he has also won plaudits for his unusual interest in its cultural traditions, taking in performances at the Bolshoi Theatre and visiting art galleries.

 

"With Capello, there is not going to be failure. He holds the team in a firm grip and a certain level of result is guaranteed," wrote the football editor of Sovetsky Sport Yevgeny Lovchev.

 

He noted that in recent years Russia has been prepared to simply outspend any rivals but with the likes of Qatar-funded PSG interested this would now be harder.

 

"With the financial problems of the RFU, we have lost our main competitive advantage," he said.

 

Capello was one of the top names rumoured to be interested in the PSG job with Carlo Ancelotti expected to leave the club before the new season, possibly as manager of Real Madrid after the departure of Jose Mourinho. (AFP)

 

 
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