Does Russia need a football team?

The friendly match with Kyrgyzstan will still take place on Saturday and will be shown live on Match TV. It would seem that this is not news, everything was known a few weeks ago.

But no! The match itself was in jeopardy due to a military escalation on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, and the issue of TV rights was resolved about a day ago. Therefore, the fact that we will see the match itself can be considered a great success. How did it happen and why was the first friendly match of the national team after the imposition of sanctions in the field of sports treated carelessly?

It can be assumed that our football officials had more important tasks. For example, they reacted to anti-Russian statements by the coach of the Ukrainian football team Oleksandr Petrakov. The statements are so vile that I will not cite them here because of a feeling of disgust. The RFU filed a complaint against them with UEFA, after which Petrakov was fined. The money, by the way, went to UEFA. Now it can be passed off as your success story. But how does this help Russian football in the most difficult conditions of isolation?


The national team has two more matches scheduled for November. The first one is with the Iranian national team, which is preparing for the World Cup, and the second one is with the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg on November 19. And if there are no questions with the first match, then the executive committee of the Bosnian Football Federation will make a decision on the second match on October 10.

So far, it is difficult to plan anything, and even more so to sell tickets for the match, despite the fact that Vladimir Putin and the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Milorad Dodik, spoke out in favor of holding the game at a meeting in the Kremlin. It’s not just the position of the political leadership and the football federation of Bosnia, but also the players. Team goalkeeper Ibrahim Shehic expressed confidence that none of the main players will go to Russia. This factor will obviously be taken into account when deciding on the game of the Bosnians in St. Petersburg. It can be assumed that some fifth squad of the national team will be brought to play, for example, consisting of Bosnian Serbs. But for Russia, even such a match will be an event.


On the eve of the now fateful decision of the executive committee of the Bosnian Football Federation, namely on October 9, the draw for the qualifying tournament for the European Championship 2024 will take place. Naturally, the Russian team will not participate in it due to the decision of FIFA and UEFA to suspend the participation of our players in tournaments “until further notice.” This very “special notice” may not be, as it turns out, for years. At the same time, many condemn UEFA for allowing Russians to play friendly matches. And this pressure may end, by the way, with the fact that the Russian national football team will play only with the national teams of Abkhazia and other teams not recognized by FIFA. To prevent this from happening, the RFU must work and interact with the international federations.

Instead, for some reason they began to tell us that Russia had a chance to get to the Euro in Germany. But among the fans, they did not cause anything but a sarcastic smile, or even laughter. Probably, this is the creation of the appearance of work.

If such plans came true, then the Russian team could become the champion of Europe. Simply because the rest would refuse to play with her, like the players of the main team of the Bosnian national team. Accordingly, Valery Karpin’s wards could collect a whole bag of technical victories.


After the Russian team flew past the Euros, again prominent representatives of domestic football started talking about a possible transition to the Asian Football Confederation.

These people just don’t understand what it is. In order to enter Asia, one must leave Europe. At the same time, Russia may not be accepted into Asia – for example, Japan and Australia, which imposed tough sanctions against our country, are members of the AFC, and they can be supported by US allies in the region. Then the Russian team will simply hang between Europe and Asia, and this can already become a much greater tragedy than the current suspension from international tournaments.

In addition, these days, many are discussing that, due to fears of receiving secondary US sanctions, banks in Turkey and even Kazakhstan completely refuse or limit the use of Mir cards. Well, Asian banks, which will make payments to the Russian team, for example, for a hotel in Thailand or Singapore, may also fall under secondary US sanctions. But these countries still need to be reached. As well as the national teams of these countries before Russia. If anyone has forgotten, there are big problems with direct flights now, and there are no people who want to get there with transfers for two or three days.

And these are only technical and bureaucratic issues, there are also purely football ones. It is quite obvious that in Asia, Russian football will not develop, but degrade. In addition, there may not be anyone who wants to play in some Malaysia with one hundred percent humidity and a temperature of 30 degrees. By the way, Valery Karpin did exactly the right thing when he did not call up legionnaires to the national team for the game with Kyrgyzstan. This game would definitely give them nothing.


Now the main task is not to inspire fans with hope that we will go to the European Championship and build castles in the air about moving to Asia, but to keep domestic football in the best possible condition and not lose players. However, these two tasks are interconnected, and there are big questions about their implementation.

For example, a promising defender of Dynamo Moscow, Saba Sazonov, decided to play not for Russia, but for Georgia, where his mother comes from. Because Georgia plays official matches, is not going to Asia, and from there you can go to Europe. Moreover, there will be a lot of attention to the team now because of the same Quaradona.

Another Dynamo player Luka Gagnidze, as evil tongues say, may suspend the contract with the Russian club due to pressure from coaches and football officials in Georgia. It is clear that such pressure goes beyond all the limits of decency, it should be a shame to behave this way, but we live in a reality where this happens all the time. However, have you ever heard of someone working with such players and protecting them? For example, the story that Matthias Normann was expelled from the Norwegian national team for staying to play in Russia did not even end with a complaint to UEFA in the interests of the player and Russian football. But they wrote a statement on the anti-Russian statements of the Ukrainian coach and got a fine. Maybe it’s good, that’s how this Petrakov needs it, but surely Russian football would benefit more from an investigation into why Norman is not allowed to play for the national team.

Representatives of the clubs generally say that the authorities are not at all involved in resolving the issues of suspension of contracts of legionnaires. Provides exclusively moral support and assistance in completely senseless proceedings in CAS.

In such a situation, one thing is clear: Russia, of course, will someday return to international matches, but it will only have to start from the bottom and it will take years, if not decades, to return at least to the positions from which it was sent into political isolation. Fans need to be ready for this. And they understand it. It is not for nothing that the popularity of the Media League has gone up so rapidly, which often even begins to outpace RPL matches in terms of views on the Internet. But this is a private and independent project, which is a very loud call for football officials. They have already lost the initiative in the world, now they are losing it inside the country.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors

Source: Sovsport

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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