Moscow, July 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has been nominated as a candidate for president of the country’s Football Association (FA).
Mutko, who held the post from 2005 to 2009, has been critical of the way the Russian Football Union has operated since he left the post, most recently slamming as “irresponsible” a decision to increase the number of foreign players allowed on the pitch to seven.
“Many of the positive changes of the last few years are tied to the tenure of Vitaly Leontevich Mutko at the Russian Football Union,” said a statement from the Krasnodar region football federation, which nominated the 53-year-old.
Mutko still has to formally accept the invitation, and joins Russian Premier League chief Sergei Pryadkin and politician Igor Lebedev as nominees.
The FA, known officially as the Russian Football Union, has been without a president since Sergei Fursenko resigned in the wake of Russia’s Euro 2012 group stage exit.
The union is to elect a new president by secret ballot September 3.
Last week, Mutko vowed to do everything in his power to reverse the relaxation of the foreigners quota, which he claimed would squeeze Russian talent out of the domestic game.