Russia backs down on demand for Slutsky to leave CSKA

MOSCOW (AP) Russia has backed down on a demand for national team coach Leonid Slutsky to stop dividing his time with CSKA Moscow.

Slutsky has combined club and country duties since he took over as Russia coach on a temporary basis in August.

After Slutsky rescued Russia’s floundering qualifying campaign and secured a place at next year’s European championship, Russian Football Union head Vitaly Mutko said he wanted Slutsky to stay, but insisted he must leave league leader CSKA.

However, Mutko backed down on Saturday, telling state TV there was ”no sense in having a coach who’s free (from club commitments).”

Mutko, who is also Russia’s Sports Minister, added that ”we can’t strip bare our country’s leading club” by forcing Slutsky to leave.