World Championship2018

“It’s not bad for anyone”: athletes try to explain why Russian football players have become well-deserved masters of sports

While some criticize the awarding of the Russian team, others find arguments in support of them. Often they are controversial.

Vladimir Putin and Artem Dzyuba. Photo by the Kremlin press service
Vladimir Putin and Artem Dzyuba. Photo by the Kremlin press service

After Vladimir Putin awarded the Russian national team players for an exit in the 1/4 finals of the World Cup, many athletes publicly criticized thedecision of the Ministry of Sport. Among them – volleyball player Ekaterina Gamova, tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov, figure skater Maxim Trankov, handball coach Evgeny Trefilov, figure skating coach Tatyana Tarasova and judoist Dmitry Nosov.

In the opinion of the dissatisfied, the Russian authorities have discounted the title of Honored Master of Sports, because in many other disciplines, it is necessary to win a high-level competition for this. The order of the Ministry of Transport states that the title of ZMS is among other things awarded “on an exceptional basis […] for the outstanding contribution to raising the prestige of Russia and Russian sport at the international level.”

Other athletes, on the contrary, took the side of the Russian authorities and the Ministry of Sport. Often they argued their position with the same point about the contribution to the domestic sport or even more controversial – for example, they called the awards ” in advance for the future ” or explained “a holiday for the whole country .” State Duma deputy Svetlana Zhurova even admitted that according to the rules to give the title of ZMS to Russian players ” it was not necessary .”

There is a special clause according to which the title is assigned not for achievement but for contribution. The guys deserve it, they’ve done more than ever. I’m glad that they became ZMC. The players were above their capabilities, higher than expected. It all depends on what kind of sports to talk about. There are sports that are for the whole country a certain standard, football is one of them.

boxing world champion Kostya Dzyu
quotation on the “Championship”

Probably, this is an advance for the future, in 2008 we were also given the title of Merited Masters of Sport for the third place at the European Championships. Now like the team did not win, but received awards – it’s an impulse to thank the players from the side of society and the state. They pleased us, the fans, and it did not make anybody any worse. Simply, it seems to me, it is necessary to revise these things, to define rigid frameworks.

former midfielder of the Russian team Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
quote on TASS

If people were given honored masters of sports, it means that they deserved it. I know by myself what kind of pressure it is from all sides, when the championship or the Olympics is held in your country. […]

At me what can be insults? I’m only happy for the guys. Once again I repeat that they are worthy of this title and I with both hands “For”.

Olympic champion in hockey Ilya Kovalchuk
quote on HNS

I perfectly understand the indignation of representatives of other sports, because in the sport the conquest of medals is accepted. For any athlete, this is the most important thing. But it is necessary to take into account the regulations, which are in the legislation of the Ministry of Sport. If everything is done according to the rules, I do not see any problems here. […]

They are not awarded the title of world champions. The Ministry of Sport has acted as it sees fit if it is in accordance with the law.

former coach of the Russian national football team Alexander Borodyuk
quotation on the “Championship”

If by the rules, then, of course, it was not necessary to give the honored masters of sports, but there are exceptions. We understand that they could not reach the quarter finals of the World Cup for so many years. For their behavior, for their dedication, for being at home, they deserve this title, even if this is not written in the rules.

Yes, they did not win the Olympics or the World Cup, but there were enough reasons to give them the title ZMS. It must be understood that a representative of one sport can get this title easier than the other, simply because there is less competition. But in football, crazy competition.

the Olympic champion in speed skating, the State Duma deputy Svetlana Zhurova
quotation on the “Championship”

This is not an international award, there is a regulation of the Ministry of Sport of Russia, if it prescribes the opportunity to assign these icons to football players, why not? I think that they made a holiday throughout the country. Somewhere you can lose, but get a lot from this loss. In my opinion, the team jumped above the head, the guys deservedly received these titles, they are worthy of it. […]

Neither I nor the public decides this issue, for this purpose there is a regulation of the Ministry of Sport of Russia. 

the world champion in speed skating in 2011 Ivan Skobrev

quote on TASS
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