World football in a bit of a tizz; Mr Usmanov steps in.

Its a funny old game.

Mr Usmanov, the richest man in Russia and the second biggest shareholder in Arsenal has just loaned the Russian FA nearly £4m so that they can pay that old art collector Fabio Capello (whose collection is said to be worth £10m+) his back wages. Mr U said,

“I think the situation created by the current Russian Football Union management is intolerable.  It’s an embarrassment when a person who works for Russia doesn’t receive wages for his labour.”

Now this might be slightly droll and amusing from afar but we have to realise that Russia is a Fifa favourite.  Despite not being able to afford to buy their own computers to make the bid for the world cup, they won the right to host it.  Despite invading Ukraine they have kept the right to host it, and for the moment it seems that England along with other parts of the EU will actually agree to play in Russia despite the territory of the EU being invaded.

Unfortunately for Russia with interest rates now running at 15% plus, and inflation running also at 15% things don’t look so clever.  They have just cut the budget for the WC by 10%.

Art expert Capello and the general manager of Russia, Oreste Cinquini, are believed not to have been paid since June when Russia was knocked out of the last world cup.

In those six months the rouble has become worth half what is was and currently trades at around 20,000 roubles to the Flavian Pobble Bead, currency of the Pacific Island of Tulip which is bidding to host future Fifa meetings in the light of the decision by Switzerland to make Fifa answerable in court for anything it does in its host nation.

Capello had the foresight however to insist that he is paid €8m a year, not a sum quoted in roubles.  The Russian Fed has said it will pay him, but in reply Mr C has said “Promises promises” (which is I think much the same in Italian as English.  But in Russian it might be  обещания обещания

If all the staff are to be paid even more money is needed – something like 600 million roubles (or if you are reading this tomorrow 606 million roubles).

But it seems Mr U does bail outs as a bit of a hobby.  He gave 300 million roubles towards the country’s world cup effort last summer.  Fifa also gave the country $350,000 although I am not sure why.

Meanwhile Russia’s labour regulatory committee is looking into unpaid salaries in football in Russia.   Interfax has reported that significant wages remain unpaid.

So it looks like being a fun World Cup in Russia, just as it has been a fun Africa Cup of Nations, with Equatorial Guinea being fined $100,000 and ordered to pay the medical expenses of the treatment to supporters injured during the Africa Cup of Nations match against Ghana.

There was a hold up of around 40-minutes during the game because of missiles being thrown at the away fans.

36 Ghana supporters were hurt after coming under attack from home supporters, with 14 taken to hospital telling the BBC World Service today, “We’re lucky we haven’t lost any lives, though people have sustained injuries arising from objects thrown at them.”

One of the strangest things in such circumstances is what people take into football matches like this.  Among the stuff found on the pitch was a small rock, half a dining plate, and a jagged shard of mirror.  Someone must have taken them in for some reason.

Mr Nyantakyi told the BBC World Service: “A high-profile game of this nature should have attracted police, intelligence officers and military.   I couldn’t have counted 50 local policemen at the stadium, the rest were from Angola, who were not familiar with the terrain, so they didn’t know how to handle the situation. So the Ghanaian fans were left at the mercy of these violent fans.”

The problem has been that Equatorial Guinea became host only shortly before the contest started because of Morocco pulling out.  There have been reports that some players have been unable to find suitable hotel accommodation during the event.

Caf said the host nation would have to play their next match behind closed doors, but then on realising that this was the third place game suspended the punishment, saying, “In the event that identical [identical mark yo9u, not similar but identical] incidents occur in the third-place match on February 7, the disciplinary committee of Caf will automatically impose the behind-closed-doors sanction on the Equatorial Guinea team who will have to play their next official international match without spectators.”

The Ghana Football Association called the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo as a “war zone” on their Twitter page.

Fortunately no Arsenal players have been at the Africa Cup of Nations.


10 stories of Arsenal and Tottenham that the media usually fail to mention, and one that they do – but invariably get totally wrong.



27 Replies to “World football in a bit of a tizz; Mr Usmanov steps in.”

  1. Big fan of the site, and I agree that the Russian FA never should have been awarded the world cup, but I must point out, the Ukraine is NOT in the EU. It is not a member state. Also, I think you’re doing some “poor journalism” here by saying that Russia invaded EU territory. It did not.
    This is a messy topic with a lot of bull being spread around.
    I’m not pro-Russian government (believe me, quite the opposite), but the annexation of Crimea was a reaction to the democratic vote by the Crimean people in favour of returning to Russia, which they only left mid-20th century anyway.
    I don’t agree with Russia’s expansion of territory, but I do think it was a reaction to the shambolic and dubiously “elected” (I say “elected” because they weren’t, even though the government they replaced was…) government of the Ukraine’s actions and links to Nazism.
    So to reiterate, I’m not pro-Putin or Russian expansionism or anything, just as I’m not pro-UK,-US,-EU governments (who are as bad for the world as their Russian equivalents).

    The rest of the article is great though. The Russian FA looks like a shambles.
    Also, I was watching the African Cup of Nations match last night, and was wondering, how much time is allowed pass in the Premier League’s rules before the match has to be replayed or continued at a later date?

    I’m sorry for the essay, but in the spirit of Untold I felt that mistake in the article had to be addressed.

  2. Strange, scandalous article! Strange, because it is not signed by an author – wonder why? Scandalous because in a site reputed to be critical, its anti-Russian bias is stupendous. The article sees only what it wants to see. Did you write a similar article when the World Cup was held in the United States? Wait, have you been riled by British and other European carnage in the world? Yet you do not seem to mind them being accorded FIFA sanctioned tournaments. If you are on about Ukrain, at least do the diligent history and find out the role of Germany, Nato, and the USA in the demise of a democratically elected government. Disappointed in this article, is putting it mildly.

  3. Separate issues. Ukrainian government changed in somewhat chaotic circumstances. This happens all over the world – whether for good or bad. There HAS then been a subsequent election which seemed free and fair, at least to an extent. But one country invading another is a much rarer occurrence (Crimea incontrovertibly, and Luhansk and Donetsk in practice). This can not be justified as I don’t think genocide or a crime against humanity was being committed?

  4. @Pete
    “Ukrainian government changed in somewhat chaotic circumstance. This happens all over the world”. There is your veritable “blindspot” you fashion to prevent you from looking closely and critically. And, there are many ways of ‘invasion’ that don’t necessarily involve an armed movement over territory. In the case of Crimea, referendums there go back to the 1990s, with each one overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia. For the ‘chaotic circumstances’ look into European Union and Nato moves for a world dominating economic system and control, the middle east -especially Syria, the containment of Russia and China. The Asian Pivot is very relevant here, because it is all part of the same complicated story. The use of mercenaries and quasi military agencies like “Blackwater”, and groups beyond the law and facist groups to disrupt governability all count as ‘invasions’. Turn your attention to the workings of IMF, World Bank, and the G8 and their connections with these turmoils is unmistakable. Ask yourself why the dollar is the currency of international trade and what that does to anyone’s so-called independence.

  5. The trouble with the Ukraine is that we in Britain are unsure of the rights and wrongs in that part of the world.
    I wish we could be given an unbiased report on the situation.

  6. This would be the same Usmanov whom many of our more intellectually challenged supporters were hailing as the saviour of Arsenal in recent seasons past. Interesting that he has stepped in to plug a financial hole for FA Russia yet was unable to donate a farthing to Arsenal despite all the PR about how dedicated he is to the club.
    Don’t expect the thickies to get it. Risible for the rest of us though.

  7. nicky

    I was thinking the same sort of thing.

    greencardusa seemed to be making some valid points along the lines of ‘Greenhouses’ and ‘Stones’ and the like, but his/her responce hardly has the tone of impartiality either, does it?

    The Authors observations may or may not be correct. greencardusas rather forceful response may or may not be appropriate.

    Either way I would suggest it is perhaps not a topic for a football site in all honesty.

  8. I meant regarding the rights and wrongs of the Ukrainian situation, not the Usmanov ‘bail out’.

  9. I must agree strongly with greencard usa, their brief explanation of recent events in the ukraine is spot on.

  10. I must say I am also disappointed the anonymous (for shame) author has taken such a strong position on the situation in Ukraine, as controversial as it is. The story of football in Russia is a topic sufficient in itself without having to drag in political controversy in Ukraine. It is also somewhat disappointing to have on a website that is as critical as it is of the main-stream media’s reporting on football, that the author did not seek a balanced opinion on this controversy in Ukraine, and has swallowed the aggresive war-mongering in the press. I agree with A. Cro. Nym that the topic is not as black and white as the main-stream media would paint, and I would always side with the forces for peace, rather than the war-hawks in the USA, the EU or Russia. The current rhetoric in the media is all directed to war, and I will not hear a word of it. The anonymity of the article gives the impression that it is the opinion of Untold Arsenal and not of the author alone, and I would hope that this is not the case.

  11. This is the problem with entering the world of politics on a football site.

    I hesitate to join the debate because being Arsenal supporters is what unites us.

    But saying Russia has invaded Ukraine has to provoke an answer. This is what the British media and establishment want everybody to think. In fact Russia is the country being threatened by the build up of Nato fire power on its borders.

    And why does Nato even exist any more? I thought it was supposed to be to counter the threat from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union no longer exists. I have to admit I never thought there was a threat from the Soviet Union anyway, but that was supposed to be the rationale.

    Nato promised not to advance to the borders of Russia in 1991 when the Soviet Union ceased to exist and it has patently broken its promise, gobbling up country after country in Eastern Europe.

    The United States, the leading power in Nato, is by far the biggest arms producer in the world. Consider then, who is the threat to the peace of the world?

  12. I thought the current excuse for NATO expansion along the border of Russia was the need to protect poor, helpless Europe against the looming threat of a nuclear strike from Iran, despite the scientific consensus that they are miles away from producing such weapons?

  13. As a citizen of the 3rd world there is absolutely no difference between America and Europe, to me they are all just bloodthirsty criminals who still continue to bomb, assasinate, pillage, divide and conquer and just generally leave broken countries wherever they have sufficient interests.

    For me I think Russia is a much better choice than say warmongering, England, France, America, etc. for the simple reason that they don’t meddle in our affairs as for the economics of it, if South AFrica can host a World Cup, there is absolutely no reason why Russia cannot.

    I think before approaching such a polarising and complex topic you should at least have read a substantial amount of independant reports, maybe say from chinese sources, or russian sources or even american independant sources. The amount of times these governments and media have lied to us, I should think we should double and triple check whatever they say before believing it. The guardian on the Russian topic is just a bunch of propaganda scripted by the government unfortunately.

    By the way this is not a political blog.

  14. In reference to Europe and America above I am talking about their governments not their citizens.

  15. although it’s fair to point out that Ukraine is not in EU, and whether ‘Russia has invaded Ukraine’ is pretty much an open question

  16. Nicky..are we in britain unsure about the rights and wrongs of the British invasion of Afghanistan and know, to search for the weapons of mass destruction that still elude us.Maybe they will be found under the oil when we get to the bottom of it

  17. isnt “Russian invasion of Ukraine” a convenient enough reason for US to come down to region holding their almighty !@#$. As if they are not already present there.

    Whatever the political reason, poor innocent people are caught up in between. Collateral damage (how I hate this crap)….

    Fifa is like a money sucking leach. Host economies are sucked dry. Poor people depending on the govt (subsidized) for survival and the middle class who are the biggest source of revenue for the govt often suffer the most.

  18. I was going to comment on the politricks, but many others have already done it for me.

    Only thing that come out is that football politricks is not in any way different from the world politricks, it’s all the same beast trust me, but i think we need to keep those topics out of articles on Untold, else the comments will then also be riddled with answers to those sort of comments and the football will be lost.

    Problem is they are so tight together that is is going to be very hard to separate them. We have to realise that under this “globalisation” every aspect of life is going to be affected, but sadly certain ethnic minorities and majorities are not wanted in it, at least not unless they “toe the line”.

    I actually feel sorry for the upcoming generations, they will definitely not know what it was like to have the (a type of, although not complete) freedom like we have today. But they wont complain, they will not know anything else and will be born into it.

    Argggg, i did not want to comment but you can see how everything is invariably linked anyway.

  19. Greencard – After thought, I have decided to not respond to your comment in detail as this is not the right place for a geopolitical debate – although please do not take this silence as acceptance of your points! However, to be clear, I very much want to see peace break out in Ukraine (and elsewhere).

  20. If anyone is up, have you noticed SSN has almost ignored the NLD? 16 minutes into their show, Rugby – check. Scousers – check. Man Utd – check. man City – check, Chelsea – Check.


    Biased tats.

  21. Sorry about the Ukraine / EU thing. Ukraine is a priority partner within the European Neighbourhood Policy of the EU. Should have taken that out.

    But I did love Quincy’s comment of “for shame” over the fact that the author’s name was missing (my mistake actually as editor of the piece). I don’t think Quincy’s comment was actually meant to be ironic, but here we have a person who hides behind a nom-de-plume (quite legitimately, that is perfectly allowable on the site) to make lots of critical comments, but then complains when an author’s name isn’t given.

    Where is the logic in that. What if I call him Q2. Are you any wiser?

  22. Mandy FIFA is footballs ISIS. They get funding from some dodgy state cause havoc where there is peace. All they need is a black flag & yashmacks & a touch of henna on the beard & head.

    Not a good post for Untold as it is bound by unsavoury politics.

  23. Tony, I am not sure if you actually believe I wanted the author to use his real name. The next article is clearly stated as being written by Bulldog Drummond, and surprisingly I do not believe that to be the author’s real name.

    I have been a supporter of this blog since I have started commenting here, and I make one comment on when I feel this blog falls below its usual standards and can do better. At no point did I belittle, denigrate or revile the author of this piece or the blog, I merely expressed some disappointment and made what I believe to be constructive criticisms.

    Thank you to those Untold people who have been kind to me. Regards.

Comments are closed.