Gazprom executive takes over Russian soccer federation

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian state energy executive took over as president of the nation’s soccer federation on Friday.

Alexander Dyukov, who is chairman and CEO of Gazprom oil subsidiary Gazprom Neft, used to be elected unopposed as Russian Football Union president.

Dyukov used to be till final year moreover president of Zenit St. Petersburg, the Russian club owned by Gazprom, overseeing a period of plentiful spending and a UEFA Cup title in 2008. Tall-title signings in that time incorporated Brazil striker Hulk and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, nonetheless Zenit used to be criticized by some Russians for its dependence on state funding.

Dyukov acknowledged he wished to make utilize of Russia’s legacy from webhosting the World Cup final year to produce stronger formative years and beginner competitions.

“I understand how great soccer methodology for hundreds and hundreds of Russians and I sincerely desire soccer in our nation to gain,” Dyukov acknowledged.

Zoran Lakovic, UEFA’s marketing consultant on the conference, lavished praise on Dyukov, announcing it used to be “the biggest signal of unity” that he ran unopposed.

“Dyukov is a smartly-revered candidate,” Lakovic acknowledged. “He’s a dynamic enterprise leader with huge expertise.”

Gazprom is a UEFA sponsor and Zenit’s home stadium will host European Championship video games next year. UEFA will mediate in June whether to stage the 2021 Champions League final there.

The RFU presidency has been vacant since Deputy Top Minister Vitaly Mutko stop in December. Mutko used to be banned from the Olympics for existence in 2017 in reference to in model doping throughout his time as sports actions minister.

Friday’s conference used to be far much less combative than the final edition in 2016, when Mutko fought off a uncover from Valery Gazzaev to u.s.a. him. Gazzaev accused Mutko of utilizing Sports actions Ministry resources to produce obvious that his re-election and acknowledged some delegates feared dropping their jobs for opposing him. Mutko denied the claims.

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