The Russia national team have confirmed that they would not be calling up their captain Artem Dzyuba for upcoming international matches this month to shield him from negative publicity.
Their statement follows the leak of a private video online on Saturday, in which TASS news agency said showed a man similar to Dzyuba, masturbating.
Dzyuba’s PR team as well as Zenit football club have not responded to the incident.
Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said on the official Twitter page of the national team that they don’t want the team to be distracted by external things hence the decision to drop the 32-year-old.
“The team needs to prepare for November matches against Moldova, Turkey and Serbia in the most focused way possible, and can not allow itself to be distracted by external things,” said Cherchesov.
“Consequently, the decision was taken today not to call up Artem Dzyuba… in order to shield both the team and the football player himself from excessive negativity and tension,” he said.
By Ofhani Munyai