The 30th Russian Championship ends next weekend. If the champion of the country is already known, then the fight for medals will end in the last round. Sochi and Dynamo claim prizes (there is also CSKA, but Berezutsky’s team has practically lost its chances for medals). An equally interesting intrigue unfolds at the bottom of the table, where it is not completely clear who will fly out and who will play in the play-offs. There is still no decision on the format of the championship next season either, and after the removal of Russia from international competitions, the question arose of further reforms of the RPL – for example, the creation of an additional tournament. President of the RFU Alexander Dyukov at the opening of the UFL Povolzhye in Nizhny Novgorod told what changes await our football.

On the possible transition of the RFU to the Asian Football Confederation

– The RFU is not considering the option of moving to Asia. We are members of UEFA and remain so. There have been many rumors about being expelled from UEFA, but they have no basis. There was no such item on the agenda. Also, the RFU did not receive an invitation to participate in the America’s Cup and the Asian Cup.

Alexander Dyukov

Alexander Dyukov

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

On the format of the RPL next season

– The agenda of the executive committee has already been formed. It will sum up the results of the season, which ends. Also at the executive committee, we plan to consider the format of the competition next season. As you know, Russian clubs and the national team are suspended for the next international season. We have additional windows coming up, so we will be looking at different options that will allow our teams to play more games.

Several options exist and have been developed. A working group was created, which included representatives of the league and clubs. Several scenarios have been prepared, including the holding of the RPL Cup. At the moment, it is premature to draw conclusions and talk about which option is preferable. Including a moratorium on departure? Yes, definitely. The working group must first complete its work. Further, their developments will be presented to the executive committee, and the executive committee will already make a decision.

Alexander Dyukov at the championship match

Alexander Dyukov at the championship match “Zenith”

Photo: Elena Razina, Championship

Will we understand after the executive committee on the 24th what awaits us in the next season? Yes, definitely. Does the working group work for a long time or only for the next season? So far, the task facing her is to propose the format for holding our internal competitions, which would allow us to maintain and improve the sports level of these competitions and increase spectator interest. When the problem is solved, the working group can continue its work.

On whether the RFU will appeal to CAS against the decision to suspend Russia from international matches

We have already sent requests. We sent the February appeal in March. I hope that it will be considered on its merits in the coming month. On May 2, another decision was made regarding the removal of our teams from participating in the next season. We do not agree with this decision. We will file an appropriate appeal. This applies to international matches. We cannot appeal decisions that affect clubs. You know that the clubs have done it on their own.

How Russian sport has changed in 2 months.  Suspensions, eliminations and selected tournaments
How Russian sport has changed in 2 months. Suspensions, eliminations and selected tournaments

On the use of a polygraph to test arbitrators

– The RFU continues to check the Matyunin case. Until the review is completed, I would not like to comment. How useful is a polygraph? I have already answered this question many times. It is advisable to avoid the use of a polygraph. In this case, we are not talking about the fact that the RFU is forcing judges to undergo a polygraph test. On the contrary, this check is carried out only with the consent of the judges.

When a referee works at a match and the results of this match raise a large number of questions that make him doubt his objectivity, then, naturally, a question arises, including with the refereeing committee and the refereeing department, the question of trust: can Can such a judge be trusted?

In this case, the polygraph is an opportunity for the judge to answer this question and prove that he was completely objective. Yes, he may have made mistakes, but we all make mistakes. Therefore, I would look at the polygraph as an opportunity for the judge to justify himself and prove that he is honest, objective and impartial. And mistakes … We all make mistakes. We forgive mistakes.

On the advantages of the removal of Russian football

– It is difficult to talk about the advantages of the suspension of Russian football, because sports competition contributes to the progress and development of football players. If we talk about the positives that could be taken, then we expect our professional football clubs to pay more attention to the development and training of home-grown footballers. For our part, we are ready to do everything in order to use this opportunity and give young Russian players a chance to develop and get game practice.

On the possibility of returning the RPL to the “spring-autumn” system

– In order to return to the spring-autumn system, the support and desire of professional clubs is important for us. RPL and FNL-1 clubs do not see the need for this. I would not want to force them to switch to a new format. Technically, it’s not that easy.

We are considering such an opportunity among the FNL-2 clubs. We really see support for this idea among FNL-2 clubs. We were going to implement this idea right now, but due to new circumstances, we would like the situation to stabilize. It is important for us to understand which clubs we can count on, which clubs will continue to exist.


Match “Spartak” – “Yenisei”

Photo: Alexander Dyukov at the Zenit championship match

Now we see that many regions are showing a desire to create professional football teams. UFL will contribute to the revival of professional football in the regions. Previously, it was possible to perfectly understand our governors, they had a team on their balance sheet, the club required funding. Legionnaires came, who, after playing several seasons, left the team. There was a certain top, but there was no basis. Now UFL promotes such integration of regions. Irkutsk can play with Vladivostok. This is important for the regions. They are starting to invest in infrastructure, we have quite strict requirements for the fields. The guys have the opportunity to play practice, they can not leave, but continue their sports growth in the region. Further, they will already form the basis of professional football clubs.

In isolation there is a chance to change the attitude towards football.  Need cheap tickets, beer and culture
In isolation there is a chance to change the attitude towards football. Need cheap tickets, beer and culture

About the introduction of Fan ID in the RPL

– I don’t have any new Fan ID information for you. As you know, the government is working on this project, namely the Ministry of Digital Technologies and the Ministry of Sports. As for the RFU and RPL, we made our proposals, which are aimed at making obtaining a Fan ID convenient and transparent. A number of our proposals have already been adopted, and we are waiting for comments on others.


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