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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spartak's Starkov Quits After Alenichev Scandal

Itar-TassAlexander Starkov
Spartak Moscow coach Alexander Starkov quit on Wednesday following a disappointing start to the league season.

"We can confirm that Starkov's resignation was accepted by the club and Vladimir Fedotov has been appointed as interim coach," Spartak spokesman Vladimir Shevchenko said.

Starkov became the first coaching casualty in Russia, quitting six games into the season with Spartak, which is considered one of the favorites for the title but had won only once.

Spartak threw away a 3-0 first-half lead in Sunday's derby with FK Moscow to draw 3-3. It dropped to 10th place, six points behind leader and archrival CSKA.

Former Latvia coach Starkov was under pressure from Spartak fans and local media to resign following his public spat with team captain Dmitry Alenichev earlier this month.

Alenichev, 33, one of Spartak's most influential players, accused Starkov of poor tactics and mismanagement.

As a result, Spartak transfer-listed the midfielder, who returned to Moscow in 2004 after a spell with Portugal's Porto, where he was part of a team that won the UEFA Cup and Champions League.

Starkov was appointed Spartak coach in September 2004 after leading Latvia to the Euro 2004 finals for the first time in the country's history.

Despite guiding Spartak to second place and a spot in the Champions League qualifiers last year, his first full season with the club, Starkov was never truly accepted by the majority of fans, who disliked his overly cautious approach.