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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tolstykh Tenders Resignation as League Head

Nikolai Tolstykh, president of the Professional Football League and one of the most powerful men in Russian soccer, has tendered his resignation in the wake of an incident that saw a referee assaulted after a match.


Tolstykh, also president of the Dinamo Moscow club, announced his decision Thursday, eight days after the PFL's Executive Board passed a motion of no-confidence against him.


Tolstykh said he was quitting because sanctions imposed by the Russian Football Union after the incident at Dinamo Stadium made it impossible for him to carry out his duties, Reuters reported.


If the resignation is accepted Monday by a special league-wide meeting, it will wrap up a bizarre three-week soap opera that highlighted the seedier side of Russian soccer.


The furor began March 24 after Dinamo drew 1-1 at home against Alania Vladikavkaz, with the visitors' only goal coming after a contested penalty call.


Tolstykh ordered referee Yury Chebotyarov into Dinamo's dressing room after the match, where he was reportedly punched in the face by an unknown assailant.


The RFU, the sport's overall national governing body, then suspended Tolstykh as Dinamo president for a year and forced the club to play three home games at a neutral site.


Tolstykh has accused Chebotyarov of "bias" over the penalty kick, but a referee's panel on Thursday ruled that while Chebotyarov "performed below his ability" in the game, there was sufficient cause for him to award a foul on the original play, Sport-Express reported.


Acceptance of Tolstykh's resignation at the Monday league meeting is far from a rubber-stamp procedure, as the case has seen a series of twists and turns, including Tolstykh charging ballot tampering in last week's no-confidence vote.














Tolstykh was also under fire last summer, when Spartak Moscow boss and national team coach Oleg Romantsev, along with several other teams, charged that Dinamo was getting preferential treatment from referees who were intimidated by Tolstykh's position as league president.