Russian football chiefs ‘satisfied’ after Ukrainian coach punished
The Russian Football Union (RFU) has said it will be “satisfied” if reports are correct that international football governing bodies have responded to its complaints against Ukrainian coach Aleksandr Petrakov, who has been accused of making “discriminatory” remarks.
The RFU expressed its anger towards comments made by Petrakov in which he stated that he had petitioned Ukraine authorities to allow him to take up arms against Russian military forces, as well as calling for Russia to receive a blanket ban from all international sport.
The deputy secretary general of the RFU, Denis Rogachev, had reportedly described the statements as being in opposition to the accepted principles of sport, as well as being a gross politicization of football.
The RFU confirmed earlier this week that it had submitted an official complaint to both FIFA and UEFA.
On Monday, Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) president Andrey Pavelko, who also serves on the Executive Committee at UEFA, said that his organization had been ordered to pay a fine and received a warning – but dismissed the case as “Russian hysterics."
“Of course, there is no decision about a suspension [for Petrakov] and there could not have been. There was a warning and a minor fine that the UAF has the honor to pay," Pavelko wrote on social media.
“In vain the Russians are trying now – on the eve of an important match of the Ukrainian national team – to distract us from preparing for the game. Everyone is as focused as possible on this and preparing to support our boys,” he claimed.
The RFU addressed the issue further on Tuesday, writing in a statement of its own that it had not yet received official word from either FIFA or UEFA regarding its complaints about Petrakov, but added that it supports any action that was taken against the Ukrainian football authorities.
“To date, the RFU has not received official notifications from UEFA and FIFA following the results of an appeal related to discriminatory statements by the head coach of the Ukrainian national team,” it said.
“If the information about the warning and the fine is true, we are satisfied with the fact that the punishment was given as such.
“At the same time, the RFU reserves the right to continue to apply to the disciplinary bodies of UEFA and FIFA if the rhetoric and actions of certain officials and organizations contradict the appropriate standards,” the statement concluded.
Ukraine play Scotland in Glasgow on Wednesday in a UEFA Nations League match, before fixtures with Armenia and Scotland once again on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.
The Russian men’s national team, meanwhile, are due to play their first game since last November when they face Kyrgyzstan on Saturday in a friendly international.