Moscow, Aug 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian fans jeering Andrei Arshavin distracted the Russian team and surprised new coach Fabio Capello, the ex-England boss said.
Capello’s first game in charge of Russia ended in a 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast here Wednesday. Alan Dzagoev opened the scoring with a free kick before ex-Leeds midfielder Max Gradel equalized with a header.
Arshavin replaced Dzagoev on 59 minutes to sustained whistling from the crowd, which continued whenever he touched the ball.
The Arsenal midfielder attracted harsh criticism from some Russian fans after the appearance of a video following the country’s exit from Euro 2012 in which he suggested that Russian fans had expected too much of the team.
“I don’t understand this situation, I don’t understand why they whistled at Arshavin,” Capello said.
“I must confess that it surprised me that the Russian fans were booing Arshavin when he came onto the pitch. Our team lost concentration a bit. This was not good.”
Russia’s next game is against Northern Ireland Sep 7, a World Cup qualifying match, and will be Capello’s first competitive game in charge.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)