Mutko wins new term as Russian Football Union president

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has won a new four-year term as President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) following elections in Moscow, according to Reuters.

The 57-year-old received 266 votes from delegates. His rival for the post was former Russia and CSKA Moscow coach Valery Gazzaev, who received 142 votes.

Mutko has had two spells in charge of the RFU, the first from 2005-09. He also became caretaker head of Russian soccer’s governing body in September 2015 when his predecessor Nikolay Tolstykh was removed by a vote of no-confidence after the organisation racked up substantial debts.

“It was not an easy decision for me to decide to run for the presidency again,” Mutko told delegates at the conference.

“You know the situation in Russian football is difficult as we are experiencing certain problems. This is a crisis or a coma – everyone has their own thoughts. It is impossible not to see the fact that Russian football has huge potential and possibilities, but these are not being realised.

“Last year was very difficult for me. However, in a short space of time, we managed to consolidate things and started to move forward,” added Mutko, who is also chairman of the Russian Local Organising Committee for the 2018 World Cup.