Russian President Vladimir Putin defended national team coach Guus Hiddink and said there were too many foreigners playing in Russia's domestic league.
Putin, speaking Wednesday in his annual televised question-and-answer session, said the Dutch coach had a proven record.
"It's not about the new coach, it's about the way soccer is organized in Russia," Putin said. "The coach that came to Russia to work on contract basis is a good specialist and he proved it in practice by working in various countries in the world."
Putin suggested that the Russian league was the problem, and that it should impose a quota on foreign players.
"This number should be limited, because when a national team is being composed, there is nothing to compose it from," Putin said. "This excessive quantity of (foreign) players suppresses the growth of young and talented players."