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Volume 6 No. 211

International Football

Russian football is "facing more controversy that could cause huge embarrassment" for the World Cup host, according to Matt Law of the London TELEGRAPH. One of Russia’s biggest clubs, Rubin Kazan, is "gripped by a financial crisis" that has seen it fail to pay its players for the past four months. And with the final game of the Russian season this weekend, "virtually the entire squad are threatening to rip up their contracts and walk out of the club in January." It is estimated that Kazan owes its players more than £10M ($13.3M) in unpaid wages and the squad was told again on Wednesday that "there is no money to pay any of them." Rubin is owned by Tatar-American Investments & Finance, and President Radik Shaimiev is listed as the 88th-richest man in Russia. Rubin General Dir Rustam Sayakhov was unavailable for comment. Kazan is one of the host cities for next summer's World Cup, where games will be played at Rubin's Kazan Arena, which was opened in '13 (TELEGRAPH, 12/6).

'AIR OF TENSION': In London, Chris Bascombe reported Liverpool's Champions League match with Spartak Moscow had "an extra air of tension" after Liverpool accused the Russian side of racism "for a second time this season." A formal complaint "revolves around" a meeting of the clubs in the UEFA Youth League, with striker Rhian Brewster alleging he was the "subject of racist abuse from Spartak players." Earlier this season, Spartak's fans were found guilty of racially abusing a Liverpool youth player (TELEGRAPH, 12/6).

FIFA lifted Kuwait's ban from int'l football. FIFA President Gianni Infantino is in Kuwait to confirm the government is "no longer interfering" in how the football federation is being run. FIFA said that the "Kuwait Parliament has adopted a new sports law" which complies with its statutes. The ban was imposed in Oct. '15, leaving Kuwait unable to play its World Cup qualifiers (AP, 12/6).

Nigeria Sports Minister Solomon Dalung disclosed that the 2018 World Cup will cost the country N3B ($8.3M). Dalung added that FIFA would make N900M ($2.5M) available; football sponsors would raise N600M ($1.6M) while the federal government would provide N2B ($5.5M). The players will begin to get their allowances three months ahead of the "take-off" of the tournament to "boost their morale" (THIS DAY, 12/6).

Police submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service "following the arrest of a hugely respected youth football coach on suspicion of child sexual offences." Michael Sean Carson, 74, was arrested in Cambridge in January and "questioned on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault." Police had been working with two of Carson’s former clubs, Peterborough United and Cambridge United, since the football abuse scandal was broken last year. (London GUARDIAN, 12/6).