Fabio Capello branded a ‘thief’ after Russia’s early World Cup exit

• MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky calls for parliamentary inquest
• Capello’s £6m salary also under the microscope

Fabio Capello might have thought being mauled by the British tabloids was the most terrifying experience in football but that was before he came across Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The far-right Zhirinovsky, Russia’s most controversial politician, has branded the Capello a “thief” and demanded that the Italian appears before parliament to face a grilling from angry MPs over Russia’s early exit from the World Cup.

Zhirinovsky, head of the Liberal Democratic party, said he would demand that the Duma’s committee on sport summon the Italian to answer for Russia’s poor showing in Brazil. The politician said Capello should be fired if he refuses to attend.

“We need to look into his work and ask him to resign,” said Zhirinovsky, according to the Russian media. “But he’s greedy, so of course he won’t. It’s pretty good to get [millions] for doing nothing. The team lost and it doesn’t affect his pay in any way. Thief!” Zhirinovsky, whose public utterances can be truly shocking (he recently threatened to have his aides rape a pregnant journalist), said that even Capello’s appearance was not right. “Even the way he looks makes it hard to like him,” the politician said. “He looks like a schoolteacher.”

Fellow MP Oleg Pakholkov said that Capello was simply in the job for the salary: “I think Capello knew very well he would achieve nothing with our team, but he simply decided it was a good way to make money, he wanted to hoover up bundles of cash for his retirement.” Pakholkov said that Capello should return half the money he has been paid to the Russian taxpayer, and should also resign.

Igor Ananskikh, the head of the State Duma’s sports committee, said he would indeed be calling Capello before the committee in October to explain the team’s poor performance. If Capello does decide to put in an appearance at the Duma, he can expect some interesting lines of questioning on football tactics. When asked what the biggest problem with the players was, Pakholkov said it was that Russia’s team are simply too small.

“Look at the size of the Koreans, even they are bigger than us! I’m not talking about Germans or Brazilians, who are obviously giants. Our guys are twice as small as them. I’m not against small players but Capello’s team can’t even run fast. What are they doing in the team?”

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