Football Football

Capello keeps Russia job for now

Russia’s Italian head coach Fabio Capello gestures during the friendly football match between Russia and Belarus in Khimki, outside Moscow, on June 7, 2015 (AFP Photo/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

MOSCOW, June 24 – Under fire Russia coach Fabio Capello will remain in his job “for the moment”, his bosses said Wednesday although his fate could be sealed within the next two weeks.

The former England, Real Madrid and AC Milan coach took over the Russian national team in July 2012 but he has come under pressure after a series of poor results left their qualification for Euro 2016 in trouble.

“Fabio Capello has not been sacked. For the moment, he remains in charge,” said Russia Football Union (RFU) president Nikita Simonian.

“We are going to talk to Mr Capello to see whether he leaves or stays in charge of the team.”

These talks are expected to take place within the next two weeks.

Sergey Anokhin, a member of the RFU executive committee, said it was vital that a less expensive compensation package be negotiated with Capello who is believed to be entitled to 21.4 million euros if his contract is cancelled.

“Very soon, this farce is going to end. We will find an agreement with Mr Capello for a reduction in the amount,” said Anokhin.

“I am convinced that even he no longer wants to work with the team.”

On Monday, billionaire Alisher Usmanov announced that he had lent the RFU 300 million rubles (4.9 million euros) to pay Capello’s salary.

Capello, 69, has an annual salary of seven million euros but was owed almost five million euros in back pay.

With just eight points from their six qualifying matches so far, Russia face a battle to make it to Euro 2016 as they trail second-placed Sweden by four points with only the top two going through automatically.

Russia’s next qualifier is a potentially decisive fixture at home to Sweden on September 5 with a trip to Liechtenstein following just three days later.