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20 Oct, 2021 12:38

Former boss Cherchesov ‘really surprised’ after Kanchelskis claims he is ‘sure’ agents paid for players to be named in Russia team

Former boss Cherchesov ‘really surprised’ after Kanchelskis claims he is ‘sure’ agents paid for players to be named in Russia team

Ex-Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov has voiced his surprise after one of his old teammates, former Man United favorite Andrei Kanchelskis, claimed he was "sure" he had been involved in stars paying to play international football.

The pair were international colleagues for Russia between 1992 and 1998, with winger Kanchelskis's club exploits including two Premier League titles at United and goalkeeper Cherchesov winning the Russian Premier League title four times at Spartak Moscow.

Former Spartak, Dynamo Moscow and Legia Warsaw manager Cherchesov led Russia to the quarterfinals on home turf at the 2018 World Cup, only to be dismissed after his side suffered a group stage exit at Euro 2020 this summer.

The 58-year-old has since been linked with positions in Turkey and Poland, although he has now admitted some shock at curious comments that have reportedly been made by Kanchelskis.

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According to a YouTube interview translated via Championat, the 36-cap wideman alleged that players have paid their way into Russia's side in the past.

"Did I face the fact that the players paid to get into the national team? Yes, even in Soviet football it was [an issue]," Kanchelskis is quoted as saying.

"I am sure that Cherchesov was also involved in this. The agents paid. I'm not saying that all coaches do this. But there is some truth in this."

Kanchelskis also alleged that former Lokomotiv, Zenit and Dynamo Moscow manager Anatoliy Byshovets, who led the Soviet Union to Olympic gold at the 1988 Games, "was engaged in this business".

Now a baffled Cherchesov has responded to the allegations. "I have not communicated with him for a long time, and therefore I am really surprised by his words addressed to me," he told Sport Express, calling Kanchelskis "a great footballer."

"I understand and accept football criticism – the choice of the squad, tactics and so on.

"But in order to understand the motives of Kanchelskis's judgments on other issues, including those of an accusatory nature, you need to find out from the original source what he means."

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Cherchesov appeared to suggest that the claims could result in legal action "if necessary".

Kanchelskis, whose career after leaving Dynamo Kiev also included spells at Shakhtar, Everton, Fiorentina, Rangers, Manchester City and Southampton, began his own managerial career in 2010.

The two-time Scottish Premier League champion has managed in Russia and Latvia, as well as a period in charge of Uzbek Premier League club Navbahor Namangan that ended in 2020.

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