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.
- What the media doesn’t tell you, part 6. There’s a financial problem…
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal