Mikhail Danilovich, how would you rate the results of today’s meeting of the executive committee?
Mikhail Gershkovich: I think a wise decision was made today. Alexander Valeryevich (Dyukov – note RG) spoke and said that we still need consultations. The most important thing now is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup. In this regard, a working group will be created to deal with contacts with FIFA and UEFA. Ways to make an informed decision will be sought.
Were there disagreements in the executive committee today?
Mikhail Gershkovich: Alexander Valeryevich said that public opinion is more in favor of staying in Europe. I’ll tell you more. I also spoke at the meeting and reminded that I represent the National Coaches Association. Before expressing any opinion in the executive committee, I assembled the board of our organization. But our association includes Boris Ignatiev, Gadzhi Gadzhiev, Yuri Semin, Valery Gazaev, Oleg Romantsev, Leonid Slutsky, Stanislav Cherchesov and other serious people. And now we have a unanimous opinion: do everything possible to stay in Europe. So we were quite satisfied with the executive committee’s decision that we should consult and try to use all possible levers to get to the World Cup. If they don’t let us in, then it doesn’t matter: they won’t let us in from Europe or Asia. Therefore, the permission issue must be resolved first. And it is more comfortable for us to go to the World Cup from Europe. This is a familiar environment for us, a larger quota. I reiterate, this is not only my opinion, but that of our entire Association.
Has anyone else performed today?
Mikhail Gershkovich: Yes, many spoke. Yevgeny Giner, Alexander Mirzoyan, Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan, the deputy chairman of the RFU Igor Kamenskoy, many. They all had a unanimous opinion. They all agreed to create a working group.
But we don’t close the doors to Asia, right?
Mikhail Gershkovich: We do not close the doors. But we will try to get them to admit us before the selection.
It has not yet been discussed who can join the task force.
Mikhail Gershkovich: So far, no names have been announced. But it will be said that it will include representatives of all interested parties.
What do you personally think: is there any chance to resolve the situation in our direction?
Mikhail Gershkovich: I look to the future with optimism. I see there is some very serious work underway. The most important thing is that decisions are not made, they are made. We must pay tribute to the Russian Football Federation – they delved into the topic. There will be no such thing as cut and go.