Russia to decide on new coach soon: Sports minister

July 5th, 2012 - 5:39 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has vowed to pick a replacement for national football team coach Dick Advocaat by July 20.

Advocaat stepped down after two years in charge following Russia’s group-stage exit at Euro 2012 to take over at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

Mutko said his replacement would be decided by July 20 to give the new coach adequate time to prepare the players for an August 15 friendly against the Ivory Coast in Moscow.

“In principle, we have little time - by July 20 we should decide on the national team coach, because very soon, on August 15, there is a friendly match, and in September the World Cup qualification starts and our team is to play against Northern Ireland and Israel,” Mutko said Wednesday.

Mutko said he already had a shortlist of candidates but wouldn’t elaborate.

Names to be linked to the vacancy include former Russia coach Valery Gazzaev; Alexander Borodyuk, assistant to Advocaat and his predecessor Guus Hiddink; Nikolai Pisarev, coach of the under-21 team; Zenit St. Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti; and former England coach Fabio Capello.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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