MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti)
Newly elected Russian FA president Nikolai Tolstykh sent out a strong signal that the national team takes precedence over club football by setting up a meeting with the senior squad on Tuesday, his second day in the job.
Tolstykh narrowly beat Russian Premier League chief Sergei Pryadkin to the post in a second-round runoff vote on Monday.
The backing of Pryadkin by all 16 Premier League teams was insufficient to deny victory to Tolstykh, who was supported by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, the man responsible for delivering a strong national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"We were told that today that we are having a meeting with the new ... president Nikolai Tolstykh. Maybe we will ask him some questions about the things we are interested in," Russia defender Andrei Yeshchenko was quoted by the FA's website as saying.
The uncapped Lokomotiv Moscow left-back was included in Fabio Capello's 24-man squad for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland and next Tuesday's qualifier against Israel.
Tolstykh played football as a midfielder for Dynamo Moscow in the 1970s and early 80s before injury ended his career and he moved upstairs as a director. He held various posts there until 2001.
He has been executive director at Russia's Olympic Committee since 2011, and is known to support greater governmental involvement in football.
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