Veteran Mostovoi axed by Russia

Alexander Mostovoi has been thrown out of Russia's squad after comments made by the midfielder to the Spanish press.

Georgi Yartsev has reacted angrily to Mostovoi's criticism but it has sparked a huge debate in his homeland with the vice-president of the Russian Football Union, Valeri Draganov, blasting the decision to axe the Celta Vigo star.

Mostovoi felt his side trained too hard ahead of the 1-0 defeat to Spain and claimed the side would not manage to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

However, Draganov has questioned the wisdom behind Yartsev's knee-jerk decision.

"I really regret this decision," he told Ekho Moskvy radio station. "It does not help the team.

"Even if Mostovoi spoke out critically against the coach, I don't think it is a reason for such a quick dismissal.

"We don't have enough players of Mostovoi's calibre as people like that are worth their weight in gold."

The Russians had originally claimed Mostovoi's views had been mistranslated but the 35-year-old, who played in the defeat to Spain, has paid the price for his outspoken comments.

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