Ex-Russia national team coach dies


Georgi Yartsev passed away aged 74

Russian football is mourning the death of two figures before the weekend after former Russian national team coach Georgi Yartsev passed away on the same day as ex-Spartak Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Sergeyevich Kozlov.

Yartsev was a well-known coach who is perhaps most famous for leading Russia from the dugout from 2003 to 2005.

Taking his country to Euro 2004, his team were the first to be eliminated after defeats to Spain and Portugal but they were also the only outfit to beat Greece, who then sensationally went on to win the tournament, in their third and final group game.

Yarstev also had a respectable playing career which started at Spartak Kostroma but saw him reach his pinnacle at Spartak Moscow, where he won the USSR national championship in 1979.

As a coach, he also led Spartak Moscow to the Russian top flight title in 1996.

In tribute to Yartsev, Match TV has changed its broadcasting schedule and will show a classic match between Spartak, who will organize his funeral, and Alania from that same year on Friday night.

Yartsev’s isn’t the only death of a figure connected to Spartak to have occurred on Friday.

A product of their youth academy, Aleksandr Kozlov, passed away aged 29 after reportedly suffering a blood clot during a training session with an amateur team.

Kozlov spent six years at Spartak from 2010 to 2016 and was sent out on loan on a number of occasions.

Most recently, he plied his trade at Kafa Feodosia in Crimea and was preparing for a season with Zorky in the second division.

As a mark of respect for Yartsev and Kozlov, a minute’s silence will be observed before the first round of Russian Premier League games this weekend.

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