The new football season in Russia was immediately marked by a referee scandal. The referee in the Ivanov field unfairly, according to the hosts, as well as some experts, sent off the player of the modest Pari NN in the match with the venerable Zenit. Again dissatisfaction, “showdowns”, etc.
Why does this happen on a regular basis? About total corruption in football refereeing, sports journalist Alexei Matveev spoke with an authoritative referee of the international category especially for the Cheka-OGPU and Rucriminal.info Sergey Khusainov.
“I was kicked out like trash”
In the late eighties, Khusainov, being an acting arbitrator, gave a scandalous interview to the author of these lines. Football businessmen, interested in the positive results of their team’s matches, promised Sergey and his colleagues “mountains of gold” – elite cars for that period, luxury apartments and summer cottages, and other benefits. Nobody was especially shy. And intractable referees were threatened with reprisals. Like, and the family will not be left alone …
In a word, an atmosphere of monstrous corruption and animal fear reigned. More than 30 years have passed since that conversation. Has something changed for the better? – I’m interested in a venerable specialist.
– Then I was literally “pecked” from all sides, – Sergey recalls. – How dared to “take out dirty linen from the hut”? – the subtext was read from the lips of senior comrades, leaders of the federation. Only one colorful Alexander Tabakov indirectly supported: “Years will pass, and everyone will understand how right Khusainov was.”
They gave me another ten years to judge, and in 1999 they threw me out like trash, although I could continue to work in my favorite football. But they created unbearable conditions, pushed for the “exit”. Considered an upstart, “black sheep”. Apparently, no one wanted to communicate with the brawler who exposed the problems in football.
At one time, the then president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) Koloskov entrusted me to head the domestic refereeing. I recruited comrades-in-arms at the headquarters. They introduced, it seemed, a progressive, computer-based method of appointing referees for matches. The computer is fearless. Strongly disliked by many acting judges!
There are few appointments for the games, we won’t earn anything – the “authorities” of the refereeing department grumbled. We sent a series of anonymous letters to the leadership of the federation. Like, Khusainov, his assistants are alcoholics, drug addicts, such and such, they don’t understand anything, etc.
And the old, “tested” team returned to the management of refereeing. Serezha Zuev, Lom-Ali Ibragimov, Yura Baskakov, Valya Ivanov, their associates. They continued the work begun by their fathers. It can be said that “traditions” are unshakable. Selection of the same referees according to the principle: “friend or foe”.
“WANT TO GO UP? BRING GRANDS!”
– Only “verified personnel” are promoted to the lists of judges for the next season, – Sergey Khusainov continues the story. – Who renders “valuable” services to management. And not only pure. They offer to make a repairman at the dacha, to equip a piece of land, to print something in a printing house, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options. Such “cadres” are very desirable on the football fields, they thereby secured their coveted place in the refereeing elite.
– And what, a normal, honest arbitrator ordered the road to a green lawn?
– It is impossible in the current system of relations. I have already said that no one has canceled the principle of “friend or foe”, it is tenacious to this day. There is no need to talk about any justice, professionalism of football referees. An honest, skillful judge will never break through!
I saw the work of promising colleagues at the matches of the Amateur League in Moscow. I was interested in what, and how they are. The guy judged, for example, matches of the second league. This was his limit. “What, did they ask you to “bring” money to the panel of judges?” – I ask. “Yes, and I refused.” “Well done, you are a man,” I answer.
Even those capable people who were already in the cage and worked in the first league were doomed to failure. Look, after a while, finished judging. This is still in a situation where St. Petersburg were only supposed to come to power in football. My young colleagues were openly told: if you want to move up, bring the money. The path of many, including really promising people, was interrupted. I summarize: the mafia is immortal.
Well-known Italian referee Rosetti came to Russia, Mutko called him to head our judiciary. The first words of the foreigner were: “Luciano Spalletti is one of the best coaches in the world.” By the way, he headed the St. Petersburg “Zenith” at that time.
Why did you come? It seems that he should be a neutral, independent specialist, develop the profession of a football referee in the Russian Federation. Or solve some of their own, selfish puzzles? After the match between the capital’s Dynamo and Zenit, the same Spalletti runs out onto the field with all his might, he has some claims to the referee. Why didn’t Lobanovsky and Beskov run to the judges?
A little later, Rosetti called the referee of the said meeting, Igor Yegorov from Nizhny Novgorod, to the “carpet”. And … recommended that he end his career. Due to the fact that Yegorov allegedly has an injury. It is clear that the undesirable must be removed.
Match “Spartak” – “Zenith”. Spartak, who scored the ball, runs to the podium of his fans, greets them, kisses his forearm. Everything is as usual. Referee Kozmenko rushes headlong to the “violator”, the author of the goal. He takes out a red (!) card from his pocket. Allegedly, for an obscene gesture. The player will not play in the next match. The task – to annoy the Spartacists – was completed. “We will remove you a little, and then we will return you,” read the decision of the “tops”. The aforementioned Kozmenko is now inspecting matches…
EVERYTHING IS DECIDED BY BANDYUK…
– Fedya Smolov played back in Krasnodar, the times – before the World Cup in Russia, – Khusainov recalls. – The match was judged by a man with a characteristic surname – Chistyakov. Forward Smolov falls in a sharp collision with a defender. The referee runs up, gives the attacker a yellow card – for simulation. Fedor shows a boot torn by an opponent, what kind of simulation is that?! But the referee is relentless, leaving his decision in force. And Krasnodar fought for getting into “business matches”, as I call meetings in European competitions.
Journalists call, I give interviews in the spirit that there was an “order” for such an arbitration from the competitors of Krasnodar, otherwise, how to explain the blatant, biased refereeing of Chistyakov? Reaction from Mutko: “We will ask the relevant authorities to have a conversation with this expert”, that is, with me.
After a while, I put in my “five cents” again, analyzing the level of work of my colleagues. And I heard a call from representatives of the Russian Football Union’s own security service. They asked for clarity.
I went to the RFU office on Taganka. I confirmed to the gentlemen: I do not renounce my words. “But how to prove it?” – I hear. Political and sporting will is needed, how else? It is necessary to look at bank cards of judges, track the movement of funds. Meet at the airport, observe the surroundings. Quite often, football referees are accompanied by dubious personalities from among the inveterate bandits, “thieves in law” behind certain teams. Well, the usual, operational work to carry out.
We talked, and then we parted ways. The conclusion is obvious: the gentlemen do not want to do this. Neither the football nor the political leadership of the country. So we will rot in the near-football swamp.
“Black tote”? Of course have. Bets on the results of matches, even refereeing, are accepted. At stake are thousands of “bucks”, euros, etc. For example, at what minute, and how many cards the referee will give during the match. Fine? That’s how we live. Anti-football is booming…