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Russian government set to investigate of federation

  • Reuters, Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:46 PM

The nation that will host the 2018 World Cup is being asked to handle domestic matters. Igor Lebedev, a deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house, has asked the Prosecutor General's office to investigate the Russian soccer federation (RFU), including the contract details of new national team coach Fabio Capello and former chief Sergei Fursenko.

"The disproportion between spending on hiring several foreign coaches for the national team and the money spent on the development of mass soccer in Russia is quite obvious," Lebedev told Reuters. "The RFU has ignored its own rules, taking dubious decisions and spending tens of millions of roubles from the state budget."

The head of Russia's Audit Chamber, Sergei Stepashi, said the government would look into the matter. "We have received Lebedev's request asking us to probe the RFU," Stepashin said. "We want to find out if the RFU was spending state funds or borrowing money from the state bank. In this case we would act. We should discuss this matter at our next board meeting."

The RFU has been heavily criticized following Russia's disappointing showing at Euro 2012, where Dick Advocaat's team failed to advance past the group stage. Fursenko hired Advocaat but quit his post in the wake of the Euro flop. Reports suggested Advocaat was paid 7.5 million euros ($9.26 million) a year by a federation estimated to be approximately $30 million in debt.

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