Mario Fernandes – Sbornaya’s Latest Brazilian

When Brazilian born Guilherme Alvim Marinato, better known as Guilherme, played 45 minutes for Russia against Lithuania in March, he became the first player born outside of the former Soviet Union to play for Sbornaya. On Wednesday another Brazilian, CSKA’s Mario Fernandes, received Russian citizenship as well, but this is also where the similarities between the two ends. Because while Lokomotiv Moscow goalkeeper Guilherme went the long way through the official channels, learning Russian and … [Read more...]

What Does Gianni Infantino’s Presidency Mean for Russia?

On Friday the 26th of February, FIFA elected a new president. After two close rounds of voting, Gianni Infantino from UEFA won the race ahead of Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa from Bahrain. The voting was anonymous, and it is therefore impossible to say with certainty who Russia voted for, but there is no doubt that Russia were on good terms with both of the main candidates. Like most of Europe, Vitaly Mutko (pictured above), the Russian sports minister and president of the Russian … [Read more...]

Is the Attitude Towards the Foreigner Limit Changing?

In 2005, the Russian Football Union (RFU) approved the introduction of a foreigner limit in the Russian Premier League. The limit was approved after a long period of poor performances by the Russian national teams, and the failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Russia finished third in their qualification group after Slovakia and Portugal, and the absolute low-point during the campaign was a 7-1 defeat in Lisbon against Portugal. On top of … [Read more...]

Should Anzhi Be Allowed to Host UEFA Matches in Dagestan?

On June 19, UEFA banned Anzhi from hosting Europa League matches in Dagestan for the 2013/2014 season. Beginning this fall, Anzhi will welcome European competition to Saturn Stadium, located just outside of Moscow, rather than its home arena in Makhachkala. Russian Football News contributors Andy Shenk and John Sager debate UEFA's stance on football in Russia's southernmost republic, offering an in-depth look at the issues Dagestan is wrestling with as it seeks to establish itself as a major … [Read more...]

Lausanne Organization to Rule on Controversial Dynamo – Zenit November Match

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will decide this weekend whether or not to uphold the Russian Football Union's decision to punish Zenit with a technical defeat in last November's match vs Dinamo, after a flare thrown from the Zenit away stand nearly hit Dinamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin. The resolution of Zenit's nearly six-month long appeal will finally bring clarity to the top of the Premier League table. If the appeal is successful, Zenit will leap into a tie for first … [Read more...]

Murky Days Ahead

Russian football’s stability, uncertain in the best of times, looks even more suspect this weekend. One can’t help but pity Nikolay Tolstykh, Russian Football Union (RFU) president, as he tries to tackle the proposed Russian-Ukrainian United Championship, mounting debt, widespread corruption allegations and agent excesses. On Wednesday, the RFU reported that it had written to Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy giant, to ask if the company plans to resume its financial support for the … [Read more...]