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Arshavin dismisses fan concerns

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jun 2012

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Andrey Arshavin has risked alienating Russian supporters, saying disappointment at elimination from Euro 2012 is not the players’ concern.

Arshavin spoke to Russian fans at the team’s Warsaw hotel after their 1-0 loss to Greece on Saturday.

The defeat saw Russia eliminated from the group stages of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

“The fact that we have not met your expectations is not our problem,” Arshavin was quoted as saying by Russian site Gazeta.ru.

“It’s your problem. When I’m sitting in (Federal House) State Duma, I’ll be held accountable before you.

“We lost because we did not score and the Greeks did. These conversations will not change the result of the game.”

The alleged comments have not been well-received within the country, with former Russian Football Union Leader and FIFA vice president Vyacheslav Koloskov labelling Arshavin unfit to wear the captain’s armband.

“Such words are not worthy of a captain,” Koloskov told Championat.com.

“Arshavin has never been in the same shoes as those who, at their own expense, travel long distances to support the team.

“Recently, I met people from (the far eastern city of) Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, who specifically came to watch good football and cheer for the national team. Many of them risk their health.

“The whole team has to bow low before these guys. The supporters come to see good football and total commitment from the players and the desire to stand up for their country.

“Instead, the team captain says it is not the players’ problem, but the fans’. I believe that a captain like this should not be in the team.”

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