Russians go ice-cold on Capello after Euro 2106 qualification disaster

Fabio Capello3

By Paul Nicholson
June 18 – The Russians may be on target with their infrastructure build for the World Cup in 2018, but they look to be way off target with their preparation of a team for the home championship. Defeat against Austria in the Euro 2016 group qualifiers again raised doubts over whether Italian Fabio Capello is the right manager for the Russian team.

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Russian football violence pours more pressure on World Cup 2018 hosts

Shinnik Yaroslavl violence

By Andrew Warshaw
November 1 – The image of Russian football, already battered by highly publicised instances of racism, has been shamed again, this time by a damaging outbreak of hooliganism that resulted in 78 Spartak Moscow fans being detained and a cup game temporarily suspended. The incident at second tier club Shinnik Yaroslavl occurred on Wednesday, ironically just after Moscow rivals CSKA had part of their stadium ordered closed by UEFA as punishment for the racist abuse directed towards Manchester City’s Yaya Toure in a recent Champions League tie.

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Russia’s ‘gay law’ debate intensifies as clarity sought over law’s scope

Vladimir Putin 2

By Mark Baber
August 14 – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill July 29, unanimously passed by the State Duma, banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.” Although homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993, the new law has attracted widespread criticism and campaigners, including Stephen Fry, have been attempting to organise a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 to protest the new law, comparing it to Nazi persecution of the Jews.

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United Flying High with Aeroflot as Russian influence grows


By Andrew Warshaw
July 9 – Russia’s growing commercial influence in European sport, and football in particular, has been underlined with the announcement that Manchester United have made state-controlled Aeroflot their airline partner.The five-year deal runs until 2018 when Russia stages the World Cup and marks the latest in a string of Russian ownership and sponsorship agreements.

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