October 21 – Newly appointed Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, promoted from sports minister, says he may stand down as president of the Russian Football Union (RFU).
Mutko, who also runs Russia’s 2018 World Cup preparations, was re-appointed head of the RFU last month but was quoted as telling the TASS news agency he was now “examining the possibility” of relinquishing the role with so many duties to juggle.
“The World Cup is coming soon… We will consult with the heads of FIFA and UEFA,” Mutko said.
Mutko has come in for considerable criticism regarding the doping scandal that has rocked Russian sport and led to the country’s track and field athletes and weightlifters being banned from this year’s Rio Olympics.
But it has not in any way impacted upon his various footballing roles which now also include being a member of the FIFA Council and it would appear neither FIFA nor UEFA have an issue with Mutko’s new political appointment.
Mutko has overseen a torrid period in Russian football’s recent history. The national team was sent crashing out of this summer’s European Championship in France at the group stage while the tournament was also marred by hooliganism involving Russian fans.
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