- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia coach Fabio Capello has been told that his team’s target should be a World Cup semifinal at home in 2018.

Sergei Stepashin, a former prime minister who is a key powerbroker at the Russian Football Union, says he has made his expectations clear to the veteran Italian coach following last year’s group stage exit at the World Cup in Brazil.

In comments reported by Russian media, Stepashin says he told Capello that “if the host nation of a World Cup doesn’t reach the semifinal, that’s a failure.”

Stepashin sits on the executive board of the RFU, which will vote Sunday on whether to remove the organization’s president Nikolai Tolstykh, who re-signed Capello in January 2014 on a much criticized contract reportedly worth 7 million euros ($7.7 million) a year.

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