Ex-Russia coach backs liberal foreigners limit

July 6th, 2012 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former Russia coach Valery Gazzaev feels increasing the number of foreign players allowed on the pitch to seven, plays into the hands of the Russian clubs looking to make their mark in Europe.

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.

However, critics, including Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, say this goes against the interests of the national team because it could squeeze local talent out of the game.

“I think it is a normal phenomenon, especially considering that our clubs play in the Champions League and Europa League, and for being competitive and playing on equal terms with the other clubs we need to relax the limit,” said Gazzaev.

“If there is globalization all over Europe and we, on the contrary, tighten the limit, it is wrong. The competition should be real, not artificial.”

Gazzaev is the second-most successful coach in the history of the Russian Premier League, having won four titles with CSKA Moscow, in two stints between 2001 and 2008.

Under Gazzaev, CSKA became the first Russian side to win European silverware in the form of the 2005 UEFA Cup.

He was the Russia coach in 2002-2003, resigning when the CSKA board came out against his combining the two jobs.

Gazzaev is a possible candidate for the Russia national team post following the departure of Dick Advocaat after the country’s Euro 2012 group stage exit.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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