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Russian tycoon settles Capello’s pay row

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FABIO-CAPELLO

MOSCOW, Russia, February 6 – Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has stepped in to settle USD 5.8 m (Sh530m) in back pay to Russia manager Fabio Capello.

Usmanov, who is a member of Russia’s 2018 World Cup committee, has loaned the money to the Russian Football Union to put an end to the six-month long dispute with the Italian.

“As a member of the 2018 World Cup board of trustees I share our sports minister Vitaly Mutko’s concerns about the support of the national manager Capello’s activity,” Usmanov told R-Sport news agency on Friday.

“I consider the existing situation, which is the result of the RFU leaders policy, to be completely unacceptable. It’s a shame when the person, who works for the benefit of Russia, isn’t paid for his work.

“And it’s absolutely intolerable when the situation is carried to the point of absurdity. It’s evidence of the current RFU leaders’ invalidity.”

Usmanov is the majority shareholder of USM Holdings with Forbes magazine estimating his fortune at $18.6 billion (16.2 billion euros).

RFU president Nikolai Tolstykh now faces calls for his dismissal.

The 68-year-old Capello, reportedly the world’s highest paid coach, signed a new lucrative contract with the RFU last year up to the 2018 World Cup hosted by Russia.

European football chief Michel Platini in January urged the RFU to pay Capello’s wages, the French head of UEFA saying: “I don’t think it’s right that the RFU are not paying his (Capello) wages.

“It’s bad publicity for Russian football ahead of the upcoming 2018 World Cup. I recommend that the RFU move to solve this problem.”

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