Russian sports minister against more foreign playersJuly 5th, 2012 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, July 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Sports minister Vitaly Mutko slammed the Russian FA as “irresponsible” for its decision to increase the number of foreign players allowed on the pitch to seven and vowed to do everything in his power to reverse it.
The move to increase the quota from six foreigners for next season was announced by the Russian Football Union Wednesday, and was the result of the mounting pressure from high-spending clubs that wish to become more competitive.
But Mutko said this went against the interests of the national team because it could squeeze local talent out of the game.
“I think that the RFU executive committee has made an irresponsible decision,” Mutko was quoted as saying by his ministry’s website.
“It is for the sake of a few clubs and does not take into account the interests of the state.”
It was Mutko who introduced the first foreign restrictions in 2005, when he headed the Russian Football Union. Clubs were allowed to field no more than seven foreign players to ensure places for Russian youngsters at the top of the domestic game.
He warned the quota would get tighter, and followed through in 2009, when the union slashed a further place for foreigners.
Wednesday’s decision incurred Mutko’s anger not only by reversing that trend, but also because it was made while the football union had no president.
Sergei Fursenko, who succeeded Mutko, stepped down in the wake of Russia’s collapse at Euro 2012. The union is to vote on a new president in early September.
“You can’t take such important decisions in an era of change, when the RFU has no head,” said Mutko.
“The decision to increase the limit on foreign players was taken in a hurry, you could say, in secret, during the absence of the head of the organization. Of course, I do not support it and I find it wrong.”
“I can state that I will do everything to return the former limit,” he said.
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Tags: collapse, domestic game, early september, euro 2012, executive committee, foreigners, hurry, important decisions, irresponsible decision, moscow, new president, quota, rfu, ria novosti, russian football union, russian sports, sake, union clubs, vitaly, youngsters