Football: No pain, no gain for Russia

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The Independent Online
The president of the Russian FA has criticised the nation's internationals, because none of them have been injured in recent World Cup qualifiers.

Vyacheslav Koloskov said the fact that none of his players had been injured proved they were not trying hard enough to win. "During the Cyprus game, the doctors weren't once on the pitch to treat the players. There was no need. Same thing with the Bulgaria game, not one player needed medical attention," Koloskov told the Russian weekly Futbol. "Where there are no bumps and bruises, there's no fight... There's no fighting spirit in the team."

A 1-1 draw with Cyprus in March and a 1-0 defeat in Sofia last month mean Russia will finish second in European Group Five behind Bulgaria, who play in Moscow on Saturday already assured of winning the group. Russia must play off against another runner-up for a place in next year's World Cup finals in France.