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banner Thursday, 5 April, 2001, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Russia ignore new citizen Tchuisse
Jerry-Christian Tchuisse
Jerry-Christian Tchuisse (right) in Champions League action for Spartak Moscow against Arsenal
Cameroon-born Jerry-Christian Tchuisse, tipped to become the first black player to represent Russia, is now being ignored by the national coach Oleg Romantsev who does not believe he is fully committed

The 26-year-old was called up to face Greece for a friendly game in February, but was eventually dropped by Romantsev, who is also his club manager at Spartak Moscow.

Tchuisse was then overlooked by Romantsev when the Russia squad was named last month to face Slovenia and the Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifiers.


The national team is not like a club where the players play to get a salary
  Oleg Romantsev

"I don't know what is happening. I haven't been told anything by the manager," said Tchuisse.

The Spartak defender was granted Russian citizenship last year after making history by becoming the first African to win a Russian championship medal.

Commitment

At the time, Tchuisse was rated the best defender in Russia by Romantsev, who was instrumental in pushing through his claim for citizenship.

But now Romantsev claims Tchuisse is not committed to play for the Russian national team.

Oleg Romantsev
Spartak and Russia coach Oleg Romantsev pushed through Tchuisse's citizenship
"Tchuisse is all by himself," explained Romantsev. "It is not a bad thing, but he is hesitant as to whether to play for Russia or not.

"You can't play for the national team if you haven't made your mind up. It is not like a club where the players play to get a salary," Romantsev added.

Tchuisse moved to Spartak last July, from another first division side Chernomorets.

Olisadebe's example

He had suffered a badly-broken leg playing against Spartak in May 1999, but recovered and showed such good form the champions snapped him up in July 2000.

"Playing for Russia would be a step forward," said Tchuisse when asked about the prospect.

"I wanted to play in Russia when I was back in Cameroon. A friend of mine told me that there are lots of opportunities.

"I always think of Emmanuel Olisadebe from Nigeria who now plays for Poland and who has scored several goals. I believe that can play like him for Russia."

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See also:

27 Mar 01 |  Africa
Russia turns to African talent
14 Mar 01 |  Africa
Ukraine is the new frontier
19 Mar 01 |  Africa
Africans abroad
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