Fabio Capello says he’s staying on as Russia coach
MOSCOW (AP) — Fabio Capello is staying in his post as Russia coach despite the team’s World Cup failure.
Russia was eliminated after the group stage in Brazil without winning a game, prompting speculation the Italian would be fired.
“If I’m here, then it’s clear that I’ll continue to work with the Russian team. It’s already confirmed,” Capello said Wednesday after a second meeting with Russian Football Union officials.
Capello said he had the trust of the RFU and the country’s sports ministry, and was prepared to resign if he ever felt he had lost that trust.
RFU president Nikolai Tolstykh said the organization’s executive committee had not discussed the possibility of Capello leaving when the Italian met the members on Wednesday.
“The issue didn’t come up,” he told local media. “Capello has a valid contract with the RFU and will continue his work as the national team coach. Not a single executive committee member raised the issue.”
Capello signed a contract extension in January taking him through to the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
That deal reportedly contains a clause that would require the RFU to pay at least $25 million in compensation for firing him at this stage.
The 68-year-old Capello has previously said the Russia job will be his last.
The Italian took over the Russia team in July 2012, five months after leaving his job as England coach.
Capello guided Russia to the World Cup, finishing ahead of Portugal in qualifying, and set a target of reaching the quarterfinals in Brazil.
After Russia’s group stage failure, nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky called Capello “a thief” over his reported $11 million-a-year salary. The head of the Russian parliament’s sports committee said Capello would be called to testify in October, although it is not yet clear whether that will take place.
Capello said Wednesday he is now focused on qualifying for the 2016 European Championships, in which Sweden, Austria and Montenegro await Russia in qualifying.
Following criticism that his World Cup squad did not include enough young players who could star for Russia in 2018, Capello said he wanted to pick more youngsters but that they “are not playing” often enough for Russian clubs.