Slutsky out as Russia coach after Euro debacle

Russia's coach Leonid Slutsky / AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU

Russia’s coach Leonid Slutsky / AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky has officially severed his ties with the national team after they crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win, the country’s football union said Thursday.

The union announced in the statement the “end of cooperation” with Slutsky and thanked him for helping Russia qualify for the Euro.

After a disappointing Euro campaign plagued by poor performances on the pitch and hooliganism in the stands, Slutsky said last week he would resign to let another coach manage the national team as Russia gears up to host the World Cup in 2018.

Russia finished the tournament in France last in Group B after drawing with England and losing to Wales and Slovakia.

Slutsky, who also coaches CSKA Moscow, was hired last August after Italian Fabio Capello was dismissed after a string of dismal performances left Russia looking set to miss out on the Euro.

He oversaw a dramatic change in the team’s fortunes that saw them qualify for the tournament but failed to translate that momentum into success in France.

It remains unclear who could fill the position and the football union did not provide a timeline for the appointment of a new head coach.

Football bosses in the country face a choice between continuing with a homegrown coach or turning back to a foreign manager, but experts say whoever comes next faces a tough task to reinvigorate the squad.

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko said that foreign trainers and “even a woman” could be considered for the job, RIA Novosti state news agency reported.

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