Round Table: Reforming Russian Football

Reform is finally the topic of discussion; and possibly just in time too with the timely (but ultimately fruitless) resignation of apparatchik-in-chief, Vitaly Mutko. However, it is more likely this will be propagated as an excuse to do nothing - as is custom. But nevertheless, we all try to be optimistic here at RFN, and as thus we've grouped together some of our most reform-supporting writers to discuss the recent proposals of Evgeny Giner, Leonid Fedun, Vladimir Hashig and Sergei Pryadkin and … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: Which RFPL players should foreign clubs sign?

In the latest edition of the RFN Podcast, Thomas Giles, Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint discuss the recent proposals to reform the Premier League as well as the upcoming transfer window. https://soundcloud.com/world-football-index/russian-football-news-which-rfpl-players-should-foreign-clubs-sign You can find the podcast on SoundCloud, or subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. You can also subscribe via iTunes by selecting – File, Subscribe to Podcast – and entering the following … [Read more...]

Sbornaya – Dinamo Moscow: Another RFU Farce

Unfortunately for fans of Russian Football and particularly the Russian National Team, that headline is not a typographical error. While incumbent World Champions Germany face off against the Czech Republic and Norway in two difficult and competitive World Cup Qualifying games, Sbornaya will face Dinamo Moscow at the Arena Khimki on 3 September. Although Russia are playing, the tie has been officially denoted as a "Club Friendly", not an international. Therefore, it is the only game that the … [Read more...]

Reforming the Trans-Siberian Football League

The Football National League is the biggest football league in the world according to geographic area, covering over 4,500 miles as-the-crow-flies and even crosses eight time zones. Due to the size of the league and other problems synonymous with Russian football such as fiscal instability, political corruption and systemic mismanagement, many clubs - as previously explored - do not face a race to thrive, but a battle to survive. READ PART ONE: Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football … [Read more...]

Russia’s Limit on Foreign Players set to be Changed

Massive news has just come out from Russia’s deputy prime minister and president of the Russian Football Union, Vitaly Mutko, who has announced that the limit on foreign players in the Russian Football Premier League will be altered for the start of the 2018/19 season. He didn’t give any concrete details on the new limit, but he did mention that it would be a limit on registering players rather than a quota on how many foreign players can be used on the pitch at any time. Currently, the 6+5 … [Read more...]

Editorial: Structural Problems are the Reasons for Russia’s Early Exit

Three games, one victory and a quick exit. That was the result of Russia’s first major tournament on home soil, the Confederations Cup. The quick exit naturally let to discussions about who was to blame for the failure of once again not making it out the group stage, but head coach of Sbornaya, Stanislav Cherchesov, was quick to end these discussions. “This is my mistake,” he said in the press conference after the final game against Mexico, which was lost 2-1, and continued: “I will take it upon … [Read more...]

Naturalisation and Foreign Player Limits in Russian Football

In the last couple of years, Russian football has seen a huge increase of naturalised players in the country’s top division, as well as the first ever naturalised players in the national team. Although this was a controversial decision by the Russian Football Union (RFU), what really caught many people's eye was how these players were able to obtain citizenship. Lokomotiv Moscow goalkeeper Marinato Guilherme was the first non-Russian to play for the national team, and although many Russian … [Read more...]

Russia’s Race From the World Cup

We live in very strange times. In Paris, just before Christmas, I had an overpriced, underwhelming coffee with a journalist friend of mine. A political animal and child of the Brussels bureaucracy, he was in high school with me for less than two months. We connected only a year back thanks to Facebook and it was our 2nd meeting. A polyglot (he speaks 11 languages) and bibliophile he has begun to learn Russian. His first question was - "Why does Russia not want to hold the World Cup?" As … [Read more...]

5 Things We Learned About Russian Football in October

1: Slutsky’s seat is heating up Last month I wrote that Leonid Slutsky had lost his aura of invincibility, now things have got even worse for the CSKA Moscow head coach. September saw the Army Men lose both Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko, both key players, and Slutsky has obviously struggled to find a plan B without his two midfielders. The former Sbornaya boss has tried to rotate between Bibras Natcho, Astemir Gordyushenko and Aleksandr Golovin, but with no success. In October, CSKA fell … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: State Influence, Dinamo Moscow’s Recovery And Youth Development In Russian Football

Host Thomas Giles is joined by website editor Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint. On this podcast the trio discuss the state's influence on Russian football and whether this is a good thing for the future of the game in the country. They connect this issue with the resurgence of Dinamo Moscow in the second tier after last season's relegation before talking about youth development in the country - a frequent question from listeners and … [Read more...]