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Gas boost for cash-strapped Russian football

13 November 2015, 18:55

Moscow - Russia's Football Union (RFU) on Friday signed a sponsorship deal with independent gas company NOVATEK until the end of 2018, local media reported.

"It's a major event for the RFU," ITAR-TASS agency quoted Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who was elected as the RFU's new boss in September, as saying.

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"The deal will help the national squad prepare for major tournaments in the best possible way. We will spend every penny effectively. And we're set to make all our expenses transparent."

The RFU experienced serious financial troubles under Mutko's predecessor Nikolai Tolstykh, which resulted in a six-month failure to pay the wages of the former national team manager Fabio Capello.

According to Mutko, RFU debts had reached two billion roubles ($30.1 million, 27.8 million euros) when he took over.

"I hope that the rough times for the RFU will soon come to an end," Mutko added.

"The financial situation has been disastrous. We hope we can make the RFU budget balanced in just a year."

NOVATEK is Russia's second biggest gas company with a headquarters in Tarko-Sale city in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, 3,500 kilometres from Moscow.

The company covers up to 18 percent of the country's gas demands.



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