‘Strip Russia’ campaign aiming for World Cup 2018

So there it was. Russia just awarded the World Cup in 2018, and the prime time sports show on Ireland’s top radio station, RTE Radio 1 and I got the call to give our reaction in Moscow. It was fair enough; I’d helped on the bid and worked in Russian sport. Logical as they couldn’t get anyone from the Russian Football Union (RFU) or a Russian sports journalist to come on. Plus my colleague was contracted with RTE and the producer knew me personally. I was there as a favor to give local reaction, … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: Slutsky Leaves CSKA, Doping Scandal and Can Spartak Win The Title?

Host Thomas Giles is joined by regular guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to talk about the latest news from the world of Russian football. After manager Leonid Slutsky left his role as CSKA Moscow boss, the trio discuss what is next for both Slutsky and CSKA. They then talk about the latest doping allegations to hit Russian sport and how it relates to football in Russia before asking whether current league leaders Spartak Moscow can finally win the title after a 16 year … [Read more...]

Much ado about something – The Tsar Returns

A precedent was set in 2010 that played out at the election Saturday. In 2009-10 I was working with Sergey Kuzmin on his election campaign. His goal, become President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and make Russian football a force to be reckoned with. He had the most solid platform of the three candidates and emphasising children's football and making football popular. However as election day began, it was clear he'd not do much better than 2nd place and cause a split in the game. So he … [Read more...]

FIFA Act on Rostov Rumours

The entire starting line-up of second place Rostov was subjected to a surprise doping test from FIFA after yesterday’s 3-1 away win over Dinamo Moscow. The test was conducted in order to find any evidence of banned substance meldonium, the use of which came to prominence earlier this year when Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova announced that she had failed a drugs test. FIFA decided to act on rumours circulating about Rostov players using the drug. Results from the test are expected to … [Read more...]

The Sharapova Case – Is Russian Football Next?

Monday, one of the most famous tennis players in the world, Maria Sharapova, announced that she failed a doping test during the Australian Open tournament earlier this year. She is now facing a four-year ban for taking the drug meldonium, which was included on the list of prohibited drugs on January 1, 2016. Sharapova is the latest athlete from the former Soviet Union to be caught for using the drug. Meldonium is known to be popular in the post-Soviet space, which the list of names caught … [Read more...]