Russian national football team needs divine intervention to be successful on the pitch, says bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church mentionned Friday after the blunt exit of the team from the Euro 2020 championship.
The team and its management have come under fire after placing last in its group and failing to advance to the quarter-finals, which begin later on Friday in cities like coronavirus-infested Saint Petersburg. Russia’s disappointing defeat came as the country hoped to repeat its fairytale run until the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals it hosted.
Metropolitan Bishop Mitrofan, who oversees the Church’s commission on physical culture and sport, told state media that the Russian football team “lacks spiritual training.”
“Of course, a solution to this problem is long overdue and our national team needs confessors to take care of our guys,Â», He declared to the official press agency RIA Novosti.
“In my opinion, our team lacks spiritual training: no fighting spirit, spiritually weak and unmotivated. “
Metropolitan Mitrofan also blamed the notoriously capricious head coach of the team Stanislav Cherchessov and the rude mouths of the players for their “spiritual ruin”.
âCoaches mainly motivate on the pitch with dirty speeches and curses, which we all see just lip-reading, watching the coaches and what our respected players are saying as they run,â a- he declared.
Captain Artyom Dzyuba told reporters that “we pooped our pants” when commenting on his team’s loss in the group stage last week. Dzyuba was previously embroiled in a scandal last fall when a leaked video appearing to show him masturbating on camera went viral.
The Russian Orthodox Church already maintains an active presence in the military and other non-religious areas as critics accuse President Vladimir Putin of blurring the lines between church and secular state to consolidate his power.