Argentina FA apologises for manual on picking up Russian women

The manual handed out on Tuesday has a course called "Russian Language and Culture," for players, coaches, reporters and others headed to Russia for the World Cup.

By: Sports Desk | Published: May 17, 2018 12:24:53 pm
Argentina's player Nicolas Tagliafico, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio and Manuel Lanzini attend a training session Argentina football players in training in Buenos Aires. (Source: Reuters)

Argentina Football Association (AFA) has apologised for distributing a World Cup manual that included a chapter with tips on how to pick up women in Russia during the FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will take place in Russia for the first time when it kicks off on June 15.

The manual handed out on Tuesday has a course called “Russian Language and Culture,” for players, coaches, reporters and others headed to Russia for the World Cup. Course instructor Eduardo Pennisi, a Russian language teacher, wrote the manual, which included a chapter titled, “What to do to have a chance with a Russian girl,” as per media reports.

The course was disrupted so the manuals could be taken back. They were later handed back to the attendees with the controversial chapter torn out. But Argentinian reporter Nacho Catullo kept an original copy and posted the now-deleted chapter on his Twitter account.

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As per the advice given in the chapter, it suggests – don’t monopolize conversations, follow proper hygiene, don’t focus only on the other person’s appearance, etc. — the chapter also has tidbits such as “don’t ask stupid questions about sex,” “Russian girls hate boring men” and “relax, it is only a girl, nothing more,” as per a translation by media outlet Deadspin. It goes on to say, “Normally Russian women pay attention to important things, but of course you will find girls who only pay attention to material things, in the money, if you are handsome, you tell me. Do not worry, there are many beautiful women in Russia and not all are good for you. Be selective.”

Pennisi told Argentinian newspaper Clarin that he had downloaded that portion of the text from the internet because it seemed “interesting.” He also clarified that he had sent the manual to the AFA about a month ago. “They approved it and they sent it to print.”

AFA later released a statement expressing its “most sincere apologies” and stating that the matter had been investigated internally. “It was concluded that part of the material delivered was erroneously printed,” the AFA said. “The teacher in charge of the course selected information to give to the assistants and, unfortunately at the moment of the printing of the same, due to an involuntary error, a text was included that was never part of the training.”

Argentina are placed in Group D for the tournament in Russia alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Albiceleste had finished third in the South American qualifying standings, reaching the tournament on the final matchday with a 3-1 win in Ecuador.

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