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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Syomin Resigns as Russia Coach

Russia coach Yury Syomin has quit after his team failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals.

Syomin, 58, announced his resignation on Tuesday after meeting Russian Football Union chief Vitaly Mutko.

"I'm more of a club coach," Syomin said. Before the national team job, he had spent 16 years coaching Lokomotiv Moscow, winning two Russian Premier League titles.

Russian media reported he had been offered a long-term contract by Dynamo Moscow, which fired its Brazilian coach Ivo Wortman on Monday following a string of poor results.

Wortman was sacked along with his backroom staff, and Andrei Kobelev will take charge of the team for the final game of the season, against Krylya Sovietov Samara, on Nov. 19, according to Sport-Express. Syomin took over from Georgy Yartsev as national team coach midway through the qualifying campaign but was unable to steer the Russians to next year's finals in Germany.

Russia finished third in European qualifying Group 3 behind Portugal and Slovakia following a 0-0 draw against the Slovaks last month in Bratislava in their final qualifier.

"We have already begun the search for a new coach," said Mutko, although he denied media reports he was primarily looking for a foreign manager to lead Russia. No replacement for Syomin was announced.

"The coach's nationality will not play a significant role. What matters is his qualifications for the job."

Russia's best performances under Syomin were September's 0-0 draw with eventual group winner Portugal, and a 2-2 friendly draw away to Germany in June.

"In the Portugal match, we saw a prototype for future Russian teams," Mutko said. Syomin was an assistant to two national coaches in the 1990s, combining those jobs with his Lokomotiv role. He took a one-year break from Loko in the early 1990s to coach New Zealand's Olympic football team.

As a player, he appeared for top-flight clubs, including Lokomotiv and fellow Moscow sides Spartak and Dynamo, but never represented his country.

Russia had not lost a single game during Syomin's six-month reign.

Last month, Serbian coach Bora Milutonivic, the only manager in history to take five national teams to World Cup Finals, told Sport-Express that he would like to be considered for the Russia job.

 Syomin has already been introduced to several of the Dynamo players and has signed a preliminary agreement with the club's billionaire owner, Alexei Fedorychev, according to a report Tuesday in Sport-Express.

Also, negotiations were under way at Dynamo to sign Zenit St. Petersburg's Andrei Arshavin, Vyacheslav Malafeyev and Alexander Anyukov; and Lokomotiv's Marat Izmailov and Malkhaz Asatani, the paper said.

(Reuters, AP, MT)