Football: Romantsev wants Russia job

OVERSEAS FOOTBALL
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The Independent Online
OLEG ROMANTSEV, the coach of the Russian champions Spartak Moscow and widely seen as a leading candidate to head the national team after the sacking of Anatoly Byshovets, has said he wants the job.

"If such an offer was made, then, of course, I will take the job," Romantsev, 45, said yesterday. He added: "Under one condition - I will remain the Spartak coach." If chosen, Romantsev - who wants to look at a new generation of players and make his club a base for the national team - will be Russia's third coach in less than six months.

"I strongly believe that the Bosman ruling is a step backwards for European football," Romantsev added. "I would like to see a constitutional decree in Russia to outlaw players' movement abroad until they reach the age of 24 or 25." Romantsev has already had a two-year stint with the national squad, which ended with a disappointing display at Euro 96. Meanwhile, Byshovets, 52, has reportedly received an offer to coach the Iran Olympic squad. The Russian Football Union's executive board will name his successor on Monday.

There was good news for Romantsev yesterday with the announcement that his Spartak Moscow midfielder Yegor Titov, 22, had been chosen Russia's player of the year in a poll by the football weekly Football. This year, Russia have lost six straight matches, including all three of their European qualifiers, forcing Byshovets to step down last week.

Spanish football fans caused more than 30m pesetas (pounds 132,000) worth of damage to the Montjuic Olympic stadium after Catalonia's 5-0 thrashing of Nigeria on Tuesday.

The pitch was left in a poor state by an invasion of around 2,000 celebrating supporters, more than 1,000 seats were broken, and some toilets were wrecked, stadium managers said on Thursday. The First Division club Espanyol use the ground and emergency repairs are underway before their next home game on 17 January.

All 26 clubs in China's first division falsified financial records this year to hide payments for thrown games and bribes to referees, according to the Liberation Daily in Shanghai.

"Many figures seem to be false," an official with the finance department of the Chinese Football Association told the newspaper.

CFA rules require proof, in the form of receipts, for all expenditure by the clubs, but every club turned in false receipts to cover up their real figures, claimed the official.

The former Dutch international Jan Everse has been named as the new coach of Dutch First Division side Sparta Rotterdam, replacing Hans van der Zee.

Morocco's World Cup striker Mustapha Hadji, who came to the world's attention with some fine performances this summer in France, has been named African Footballer of the Year.

The poll, run by African Football Magazine, saw Leeds' South African captain Lucas Radebe finish seventh in the voting.

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