Simonyan named acting Russia chief

MOSCOW - Former Soviet Union striker Nikita Simonyan, now aged 83, was appointed acting president of the Russian FA (RFU) on Tuesday, replacing Vitaly Mutko.

Sports Minister Mutko was forced to resign after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev demanded last month that all government officials in charge of national sports bodies should be replaced by professional personnel.

Simonyan (pictured, right, with England's Billy Wright in 1958) will keep the job until February 3 when the RFU general assembly elects a new president, with Sergei Kapkov, associate of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and ex-Zenit St Petersburg president Sergei Fursenko front runners for the position.