Russian football chief resigns after Euro failure

June 26th, 2012 - 8:51 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian Football Union head stepped down from his post Monday while apologising to fans for the national team’s group stage exit at Euro 2012.

Sergei Fursenko’s resignation throws into doubt the process of choosing a successor to coach Dick Advocaat, who left after the tournament. Fursenko’s deputy Nikita Simonyan will serve as acting president of the union.

“I have made a decision that was hard for me, to leave the post of president of the Russian Football Union,” Fursenko said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

“I want to apologise to the supporters for this result,” Fursenko said, adding “It’s a pity because the team was very strong, a very good job was done by Dick Advocaat.”

Fursenko, 58, succeeded Vitaly Mutko in February 2010 after his predecessor was made sports minister, and three months later oversaw the hiring of ex-Rangers coach Advocaat.

Expectations were high that Russia could repeat their run to the Euro 2008 semifinal after they entered the tournament on a 14-game unbeaten run and started it by beating the Czech Republic 4-1, but a 1-1 draw with co-hosts Poland and then a surprise 1-0 defeat to Greece sent the Russians home.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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