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...]

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...]

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...]

RFN Podcast: Reaction to internationals, Putin’s best position, the Russian Leicester City, Zenit’s new manager

Host Thomas Giles is joined by fellow Russian Football News writers Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint. The trio react to Russia's recent international friendly matches and deliberate on what position would Vladimir Putin play if he were selected in the national team. They also discuss the rise of FC Rostov, the Russian Leicester City, and predict whether they really can win the Russian Premier League. Finally they suggest potential candidates for the manager's job at Zenit St. … [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...]

Chechen President Ready to Sign Patriot Tarasov

With the exception of the Kremlin, almost everybody have shared their opinion on Dmitry Tarasov’s showing of a Vladimir Putin t-shirt following Lokomotiv Moscow’s defeat to Fenerbahce in the Europa League last week. Almost immediately after the game, UEFA issued a statement saying: “A player/team of a player that reveals an undergarment that shows political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images […] will be sanctioned by the competition organizer.” Dmitry Tarasov employer … [Read more...]

Who Will Russia Back for FIFA President?

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa from Bahrain and President Vladimir Putin. Source: TASS The simple answer to the above-asked question is UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino. At the beginning of February, president of the Russian Football Union and sports minister Vitaly Mutko stated: “We agree with most European countries and believe that Infantino is our candidate for FIFA presidency.” Mutko’s statement came after Infantino visited Russia for the unveiling of the 2017 Confederations … [Read more...]

Tarasov Becomes Part of UEFA’s Political Problem

It was hoped that this match would be able to unite two sets of people among the current diplomatic crisis between Russia and Turkey. However, unfortunately several inflammatory incidents took place around the game. Firstly stones were thrown at a bus of Lokomotiv Moscow fans and several Twitter accounts associated with Russian football were abused and threatened with violence.           The main incident to capture the headlines though has … [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...]

Kadyrov’s Chechen Football Party for Putin

While the Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrated his 63rd birthday by playing hockey in the Olympic city Sochi, he was also celebrated elsewhere. In Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, Putin was celebrated by the local president Ramzan Kadyrov, who had arranged an exhibition match in his honor. Kadyrov had assembled a team called ‘Leader 63’ in honor of Putin, and they took on an Italian all-star team with former stars like World Cup finalist Dino Baggio, AC Milan legend, World Cup winner … [Read more...]