Sports minister Vitaly Mutko was on Saturday re-elected for a four-year term as president of Russia’s Football Union (RFU) at a special executive board meeting in Moscow.

The 57-year-old Mutko received 266 votes. His only opponent, former Russia and CSKA Moscow coach Valery Gazzaev, got 142.

Mutko presided over the RFU between 2005 and 2009 and then succeeded Nikolai Tolstykh in 2015. His new term will end in 2020.

Mutko called on those responsible for developing Russian football to unite with the country preparing to host the 2018 World Cup.

“The last year was really hard,” Mutko said. Russia were eliminated in the first round of Euro 2016 with Russian hooligans involved in clashes with English fans early in the competition in France.

“It was management in a crisis situation. I believe we should consolidate our efforts and proceed from words to real deeds for the sake of football in this country.” – Agence France-Presse

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