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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Federation Wants Refusenik Players Banned

The Russian soccer federation wants a group of leading rebel players to be banned from the national side for two years, Sport Express has reported.

The federation's general secretary, Vladimir Radionov, told the newspaper Tuesday that its disciplinary committee considered that the players had broken international soccer laws by refusing to play until national manager Pavel Sadyrin had been sacked for incompetence. He said the federation wanted to block any bid to transfer the rebels and also to fine domestic teams 5 million rubles ($2,800) for every refusenik in their ranks. This move would principally affect Dinamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow whose midfielders Igor Dobrovolsky and Valery Karpin respectively are refusing to play under Sadyrin.

The federation turned the screws on the rebels two weeks ago, leaving them out of an official 35-man preliminary squad for the World Cup finals.

The team's prospects have nose-dived since 14 players declared last December they would not play again under Sadyrin. He has subsequently branded them traitors.

Those refusing to play include Inter Milan's Igor Shalimov, Andrei Kanchelskis of Manchester United and strikers Sergei Kiryakov of Karlsruhe and Igor Kolyvanov of Foggia.

Russia will play Brazil, Sweden and Cameroon in the opening phase of the World Cup finals.