Kanchelskis calls in police, FIFA after ‘leg break threats’ over $1.8MN pay-off

Ex-Man United and Russia footballer Andrei Kanchelskis is seeking criminal action over threats that reportedly involved breaking his legs because of a pay-off, admitting feeling "fear" but insisting he will not be intimidated.

The alleged incident reportedly related to Kanchelskis' work at Uzbekistan Super League side Navbahor Namangan.

In October 2020, the two-time Premier League winner left the club over claims of unpaid wages and, in August this year, FIFA obliged his former employers to make a pay-out of around $1.8 million with interest.

The episode has now taken a sinister twist, with three unknown men in face masks allegedly approaching Kanchelskis in a Moscow cafe.

The trio reportedly asked if he had worked in Uzbekistan and made an offer to pay him a relatively paltry $80,000 for his troubles.

When the former Rangers winger refused, they told him that they would break his legs. 

Speaking to Sport24.ru, Kanchelskis has confirmed he did received the threats and filed a police report over them. 

"All threats will be forwarded to FIFA and UEFA," he added. "This matter must now be taken seriously.

"I think there will be more information soon. I want these people to be found and acted against them in accordance with the law.

"This is the first time I've encountered this. I don’t know why I received threats.

"We did everything legally. It seems that we live in a civilized world, where things are not resolved like that.

"I sincerely cannot understand what is my fault, that FIFA then awarded me [the pay-out].

"After this conversation, I was no longer pursued. It was a very unpleasant situation. Was there fear? Naturally.

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Stanislav Cherchesov and (inset) Andrei Kanchelskis © Anton Vaganov / Reuters | © Instagram / andrei_kanchelskis
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"But what, should we now flee our home? We live and work normally, all according to plan. There will be more precedents – we will turn to law enforcement agencies again."

Kanchelskis joined Navbahor Namangan, who finished sixth in the last edition of the Uzbek top flight, in October 2018.  

After steering them to third, he resigned the following June before being reappointed in August 2019 on a three-year deal.

Kanchelskis stepped down for a second time after not being paid for four months, but world football governing body FIFA ruled in his favor and ordered Navbahor to pay up in 30 days plus interest and without the right to appeal.

Now 52, he won the Premier League twice during his time with United between 1991 and 1995 as part of a 20-year career that included spells in Ukraine, Scotland, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The winger made more than 50 appearances for the Soviet, CIS and Russia international teams.

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