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15 Jun, 2021 15:59

‘We will not let beautiful girls into the locker room’: Tearful pop star Buzova cannot visit players, says Russia boss Cherchesov

‘We will not let beautiful girls into the locker room’: Tearful pop star Buzova cannot visit players, says Russia boss Cherchesov

Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov has snubbed a suggestion that Olga Buzova, the pop star who was reduced to tears on TV after being challenged on her knowledge of the national team, could enter their inner sanctum at Euro 2020.

Focused Cherchesov is desperate for his players to put their first points on the board when they face Finland in their second match of the finals on Wednesday, representing a more eminently winnable game than their unsuccessful opener against top-ranked Belgium.

The head coach has been concentrating all of his energies on navigating the group stage at the tournament, which left him no time to watch Buzova's ill-fated television appearance in which she cried after the hosts asked a question about football as part of a tense exchange.

“I don't watch TV when the tournament is on," said Cherchesov, who has had plenty to ponder in the aftermath of Russia's 3-0 defeat to Belgium in St. Petersburg thanks to a Romelu Lukaku brace.

"I did not watch the broadcast with Buzova. I'm glad they are worried about [Russia's fortunes]. The criticism was well deserved. It can be deserved even after victories. We must get revenge for our defeat, so cheer for us."

Asked whether Buzova might be allowed to meet the players in the locker room before a match, Cherchesov dismissed the idea and emphasized that he wanted his stars to "concentrate on the game and not on beautiful girls."

"Naturally, we will not let beautiful girls into the locker room," he added.

Russia face a must-win Group B clash if they want to finish second, and Cherchesov insists his team "have recovered from the first match" after Romelu Lukaku-inspired Belgium swept his team aside.

"Now we have an absolutely different kind of preparation," he said.

Taking three points from their debut in a major international tournament – the 1-0 win over Denmark marred by Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest – Finland's strengths have not been lost on defender Georgy Dzhikiya.

"They are a disciplined team," said Dzhikiya, discussing a side who kept six clean sheets during their qualifying campaign. "They are organized and play in a compact way."

"Finland are not an easy opponent and they have already demonstrated this," pointed out Cherchesov, adding that veteran Yuri Zhirkov will miss the rest of the tournament.

"The game [against Denmark] could have worked out differently, but we knew from the beginning that they were a strong opponent.

"It was a somewhat surprise result but the Finland players’ attitude towards the game did not surprise me."

Cherchesov's opposite number, Markku Kanerva, admitted that the harrowing scenes after Eriksen collapsed to the floor during the first half of their opener could affect his players.

"It is hard to estimate how the event will affect different people and of course we all have it in our minds," he said.

"We are very glad that Eriksen is doing better and I hope we will be able to concentrate on tomorrow’s match.

"Certainly it will remain in our minds, even after the tournament. Maybe we will be able to appreciate the [Denmark] win even more [then].

"But it is not an easy task for all of us to concentrate only on football because there were bigger things than football in play.

"It was one game and an important one, but we don’t want to dwell on that. We want to be fully focused for the match against Russia. We’re still on the road."

Also on rt.com ‘Have you stopped drinking cognac in the morning?’: Russian pop star Buzova left in tears by bizarre Euro 2020 interview (VIDEO)