Russian politician wants nation’s football flops punished
A Russian State Duma deputy has proposed fines for footballers whose performance isn’t up to scratch for the national team. According to the official, it will provide extra stimulus for stars to play “with full dedication”.
The proposal was made by Sultan Khamzaev of the United Russia party.
According to the deputy’s press service, he will be pitching the idea to Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin and Russian Football Union (RFU) boss Alexander Dyukov.
“As part of his parliamentary activities, Deputy Sultan Khamzaev put forward a proposal to impose sanctions on those players who play poorly in the Russian national team. Often, players of this level lack additional motivation,” RIA Sport quoted the press service as saying.
“The discussion is about fines for poor play, violations of discipline, as well as complaints from fans.
“We believe that in this case, the player should be fined under the contract that was concluded at club [level].
“The expediency of this proposal is to increase the motivation of Russian national team players to play better and with full dedication.”
Russian football has suffered a disappointing past few months at international level.
The team failed to qualify directly for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after losing to Croatia in the last match of group-stage qualifying.
They will now have to navigate a playoff with Poland in Moscow in March. Should they beat the Poles, Russia will play either Sweden or the Czech Republic – again at home – in a second playoff for a place in Qatar.
During the summer, Russia endured more disappointment at the European Championships as they went out at the group stage after suffering heavy defeats in two of their three matches.
Russia are currently 34th in the FIFA international rankings, behind the likes of Tunisia, Iran and Senegal.