Game over in Grozny: Gullit is sacked by Chechen President

 

Moscow

The bizarre sojourn of Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit in Chechnya ended last night, as he was unceremoniously sacked as manager of the region's leading football team, Terek Grozny.

The club, run by Chechnya's President Ramzan Kadyrov, had previously released a long-winded statement laying into Gullit's personality, tactics and attitude, and said the Dutchman would be sacked if Terek did not win their upcoming match. Last night's game ended with a last-minute own goal and defeat for the Chechen side, and minutes after the final whistle, Terek confirmed Gullit had been fired.

The original ultimatum from Terek read like a Stalinist denunciation of Gullit, accusing the former Chelsea and Newcastle manager of lying to the press and slandering the name of Chechnya. It also said that Terek's results since he became manager had been unacceptable, with the club languishing near the bottom of Russia's Premier League. Gullit was appointed to the job in January, and admitted that part of the motivation for taking the job was the excellent money.

Mr Kadyrov, a former insurgent now backed by Moscow who has been implicated in a number of torture cases and murder inquiries, is Terek's president and its biggest fan, often showing up at training and exhorting players to perform better. He is a controversial figure even in Russia, and given his reputation, the club's statement had an ominous ring to it. Terek said that Mr Kadyrov was "extremely unhappy" with Gullit's attitude.

"Gullit's actions over the last half a year show that he has no idea about the players and the team," said the statement. "The team has no flowing play, no recognisable style. Terek has never played so badly."

The Grozny club was angered by an interview given to a British newspaper recently, in which Gullit complained of a lack of funds for player purchases, and of poor infrastructure at the club.

What really seems to have angered the Chechens, however, was a throwaway remark from Gullit that he had not invited friends from home to visit him in Chechnya because of a lack of nightlife and available alcohol. "I miss my friends in Holland," he said in the interview. "They have visited me everywhere but why would they come here? You can't have a drink and you can't communicate with anyone."

These words prompted a furious diatribe from Terek. "Gullit should know that we invited him not to nightclubs but to work in a football club," raged the club statement. "Ramzan Kadyrov is extremely unhappy with the approach of Ruud Gullit to his duties. Instead of pulling up his sleeves and getting on with it, he is thinking of bars and discos." It's true, said the Terek statement, that "in Chechnya there is not the drug addiction and awful nightlife venues that are everywhere in Holland and Europe". However, the club listed a range of alternative activities on offer to "people who enjoy a healthy lifestyle", including parks and "ice palaces".

"Based on all of this," the statement concluded, "Ramzan Kadyrov has set Ruud Gullit the task of taking three points in Perm. Otherwise, Gullit will be fired." Terek were unable to score at fellow strugglers Amkar Perm, going down 1-0.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Year 2 Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Bognor Regis!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Year 2 Teacher currently need...

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits