Arshavin to remain Russia`s captain
Despite all the criticism, Andrey Arshavin has kept the captain`s armband in the Russian national team under new coach, Fabio Capello.
ґThe information appeared on the Russia Football Union`s official website, even though there is no unity on the issue within the organization itself.
The RFU`s honorary president and former FIFA vice-president, Vyacheslav Koloskov, believes the armband is worn by the wrong guy.
"I`ve said it before and I`ll say it again - Arshavin isn`t the face of the national squad," he said. "He`s not the captain. The captain has to inspire the team, and not walk on the pitch with his head down like it happened with Arshavin in friendly games. The captain needs to have character. While Arshavin has none."
Arshavin has been Russia`s first choice captain since June 2009, but recently there have been calls to strip him of the honor.
The 31-year-old has been severely criticized for lacking dedication on the pitch and disrespect towards the country`s fans.
"The fact that we haven`t met your expectations isn`t our problem. It`s your problem," Arshavin told the disappointed fans after Russia crashed out of Euro 2012 this summer.
The harsh statement cost the player his place at Zenit Saint Petersburg and an advertising deal with Russian gas major, Gazprom.
But his position in the national team, for which he hasn`t scored an official goal since 2009, remains firm.
The country`s squad are currently preparing for a friendly against Ivory Coast, which will take place in Moscow on August 16 and be Fabio Capello`s debut in charge of the team.
Photo - Russia`s football captain, Andrey Arshavin (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)