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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sepp Blatter: FIFA concern at Russia racism report before 2018 World Cup

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists the 2022 World Cup final won't be held on December 23, but won't offer any further concessions to angry European leagues.
It's just over 24 hours since a FIFA taskforce recommended shifting the 2022 World Cup to November and December, but the proposed move is already being questioned.

Sepp Blatter has admitted FIFA are concerned by a study of racism in Russian football as the country prepares to host the 2018 World Cup.

A report by the Fare network and Sova Center entitled "Time for Action" found over 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked with the Russian game between May 2012 and May 2014.

The report reads: "The 2018 World Cup is now almost three years away and even in a country in which things can happen very quickly the opportunity to bring about long-term change may...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Fabio Capello faces sacking if Russia don't make Euro 2016, RFU chief says

Former England manager Fabio Capello believes Wayne Rooney has matured over the last 12 months, becoming a true leader for the Three Lions and Manchester United.
The RFU says Fabio Capello is in a must-win situation for Russia.

Russian Football Union president Nikolai Tolstykh said that national team coach Fabio Capello faces the sack if Russia don't make Euro 2016, according to a report.

The former Juventus Coach is contracted to the Russian national team until the country hosts the 2018 World Cup. Russia is currently third in Group G qualifying, five points behind first-place Austria.

"The contract provides the RFU with...

Russia striker Artyom Dzyuba to join Zenit from Spartak Moscow

Artyom Dzyuba impressed in last season's Russian league.

MOSCOW, Russia -- Zenit St. Petersburg have announced they will sign Russia striker Artyom Dzyuba from Spartak Moscow on a free transfer when his current contract expires in the summer.

Dzyuba, 26, has been a Spartak player since childhood -- except for loan spells -- and was the Russian Premier League's second-highest scorer last season with 17 goals while on loan at FC Rostov.

Russia finally pay off all debts to national team coach Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello has been paid his full wages, Russia says.

MOSCOW -- The Russian Football Union says it has cleared its debt to national coach Fabio Capello, who had been unpaid since June.

The announcement comes a day after billionaire businessman and Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov said he loaned 400 million rubles to clear the debt amid financial problems at the RFU.

The organization said in a statement on Friday it completed "necessary operations to transfer the money" to Capello.

Separately, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who arranged Usmanov's...

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov to pay Fabio Capello's back wages

Fabio Capello has not been paid since June but could be about to see a paycheck.

MOSCOW -- Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov will pay the national federation's debt to coach Fabio Capello, who has gone unpaid since June, he said on Thursday.

Usmanov, a shareholder in Arsenal, was quoted by Russian agency R-Sport reported as saying he will loan 400 million rubles (3.9 million pounds) to the Russian Football Union to pay Capello.

"It is a disgrace when a person who's working for Russia doesn't get paid for his labour," Usmanov said.

Usmanov agreed to pay after talks with Sports...