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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Russians may look abroad
Russia's players come to terms with their World Cup exit
Two defeats left Russia down and out
Two Russian oil executives have offered to pay $1m a year to employ a foreign coach after their country's dismal showing at the World Cup.

Lukoil vice-president Leonid Fedun and Yukos vice-president Vasily Shakhnovsky have written a letter to the Russian Football Union outlining their proposal.

"This is our private initiative, a letter from two individuals, Shakhnovsky and Fedun, rather than from our companies," Fedun told Russian business daily Vedomosti.

Open Quote
The question of money is not a priority for the football association
Close Quote
Russian Football Union consultant

"Vasily was at the championship and I watched it from here, and I was ashamed and offended."

Russia beat Tunisia 2-0 in their opening match but defeats by Japan and Belgium condemned them to an early exit.

And that prompted the resignation of 48-year-old coach Oleg Romantsev.

Shakhnovsky said a replacement would cost in the region of $650,000 (430,000), but insisted he was only prepared to pay for a foreign coach.

Alexander Chernov, a consultant to the Russian Football Union, said the idea of bringing in a foreigner was already being considered.

"The question of money is not a priority for the football association. The main task is to attract the necessary specialist," he said.


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GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1

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