russia news

Simonyan named acting president of Russian FA

November 24, 2009

Former Soviet Union striker Nikita Simonyan, now aged 83, was appointed acting president of the Russian FA (RFU) on Tuesday, replacing Vitaly Mutko.

Sports Minister Mutko was forced to resign after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev demanded last month that all government officials in charge of national sports bodies should be replaced by professional personnel.

Simonyan will keep the job until February 3 when the RFU general assembly elects a new president, with Sergei Kapkov, associate of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and ex-Zenit St Petersburg president Sergei Fursenko front runners for the position.

The former Spartak Moscow striker and manager scored ten goals in 20 games for the USSR, including a goal against England at the 1958 World CUp finals, where the USSR reached the quarter-finals before being eliminated by hosts Sweden.