Grozny Football Club Threatens To Fire Superstar Coach Gullit

The soccer team overseen by the president of Russia’s southern republic of Chechnya has threatened superstar coach Ruud Gullit with firing, saying he must skipper the team to a win tonight or he’ll lose his job.

Russian Premier League’s Terek Grozny, on its website, accused two-time World Player of the Year Gullit of being more interested in “bars and discotheques” than delivering on the goal of getting the team into European competition by 2012.

Terek Grozny were scheduled to face Ankar Perm in the June 14 match.

In its online accusation, the team — whose president is Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov — says Gullit “has not justified the hopes of the club’s leadership.”

“Considering all this, Ramzan Kadyrov is presenting Ruud Gullit with the task of bringing back three points from Perm,” the statement says. “In the event of the opposite outcome, Gullit will be dismissed from the position of head coach.”

The team message takes Gullit to task for disparaging remarks he was quoted as saying about the level of talent on Terek Grozny’s roster and suggests that Gullit, who is Dutch, has made little effort to observe Chechen “traditions.”

Gullit was reportedly signed to an 18-month contract at the start of the current season. The team is currently 14th in a league of 16 teams, two spots below where it finished last year.

compiled from RFE/RL and Reuters reports

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