04:10 GMT +3 hours24 November 2014
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Top Government Officials Step Down from Russian FA

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(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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Top officials including the CEO of Gazprom and owner of Zenit St. Petersburg Alexei Miller have stepped down from the executive committee of the Russian FA three days before it elects a new president.

Top officials including the CEO of Gazprom and owner of Zenit St. Petersburg Alexei Miller have stepped down from the executive committee of the Russian FA three days before it elects a new president.

Following Miller out of the door of the 33-man committee was President Vladimir Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, former Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, and Sergei Stepashin, the head of Russia's Audit Chamber.

The FA, known officially as the Russian Football Union, has been without a president since Sergei Fursenko resigned in the wake of Russia's Euro 2012 group stage exit.

The politicians, through FA spokesman Nikita Simonyan, cited commitments elsewhere for their resignations, while Miller's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov could only confirm his departure.

On the surface, the timing of the exodus appears odd, with elections for the new president of the Russian Football Union set for Monday.

Two candidates of a total seven are considered frontrunners in the secret ballot vote: Nikolai Tolstykh, a current vice-president, and Sergei Pryadkin, the head of the Russian Premier League.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, a powerful proponent of an FA overhaul, publically supported Tolstykh, while Pryadkin was said to have the backing of the 16 Russian Premier League clubs.