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Jun 26, 2014

Fabio Capello: Laser 'blinded' keeper

Russia coach Fabio Capello addresses the media about a laser interrupting goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev before Algeria's equalising goal.

Russia coach Fabio Capello said a laser was shone into the eyes of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev seconds before the Russians conceded the goal that ended their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup round of 16.

Islam Slimani headed home the crucial equaliser for Algeria with an hour gone, but Capello claimed Akinfeev had been "blinded" by the laser incident.

The keeper was unable to gather the ball as Slimani struck, and Capello's men failed to conjure up the winner they needed to progress from Group H in the remaining half an hour.

Aleksandr Kokorin had given Russia a sixth-minute lead -- which would have been enough to take them through to a clash with Germany in the round of 16 -- and Capello said: "Akinfeev was blinded by the laser beam. That's the absolute truth. There are pictures -- you can see that in the footage.

AlgeriaAlgeria
RussiaRussia
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FT
Match 48
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"I never find excuses. I never look for them. But about the laser there are no excuses, you can check it. You can see. The goalkeeper was unable to do his job. These are facts, not excuses. Just look at the picture. It was a laser beam.

"I am not accustomed to trying to find excuses. Whenever we play poorly, I say it straight. We can win or lose, but I have never come up with excuses to get by in life."

Capello, whose side picked up two points in their group campaign, the other coming in a 1-1 draw with South Korea, hit out at the standard of refereeing and said he believed his side had been hard done by.

Fabio Capello's needlessly defensive tactics have put Russia in grave danger of an early World Cup exit.
Fabio Capello was not pleased with the referees during Russia's games at the World Cup.

"If there is something I need to complain about at this World Cup, it is the treatment from the referees," he said, criticising the standard of refereeing in Russia's 1-0 loss to Belgium.

"I have to complain about the referee against Belgium," he said. "It was a foul on their part [before Divock Origi hit the 88th-minute winner] and I kept my mouth shut, but now I can speak because the World Cup is over for us."

Capello, under contract with Russia until 2018, when they host the World Cup, said he wanted to stay but would wait and see whether the Russian football authorities felt the same way.

"If they still want me, yes [I will stay]," Capello said. "We'll have to ask the management that question."

He said Russia's progress would be helped if more players played in other European leagues, explaining: "Experience acquired abroad can help you and help you mature, especially. It instills great competitiveness."

And he wished Algeria well for their match against Germany, saying: "Of course, the German players are of great quality -- but I have to say that this Algerian squad deserves respect."

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