Russians play in bikinis to bring back fans

A Russian women’s football team who have struggled to attract fans during the economic downturn have come up with a unique method of drawing in the crowds – playing their next match in bikinis.

In a significant step backwards for women’s football in its quest for equality alongside the men, FC Rossiyanka from Krasnoarmeysk near Moscow have made the pledge after seeing gate receipts continue to tumble this season.

Despite first impressions, the club appear to be a serious outfit.

Founded in 1990, FC Rossiyanka have won the Russian Women’s Premier League three times, in 2005, 2006 and 2010, and qualified for the recently established Women’s Champions League twice – both times reaching the last-16.

But coach Tatyana Egorova says that, despite their success, they are still under-rated – and hopes the publicity stunt will help money matters off the field.

‘We are the best woman’s team in Russia and have won many championships, even representing our country in the Uefa Champions League,’ Egorova explained.

‘But few people have ever heard of us and we don’t get many people coming to games so we’ve decided to give our profile a boost by appearing in bikinis.

‘We hope it will also improve the numbers of tickets we sell.

‘We think it’s a good idea – our players are beautiful, great athletes and determined to win.’

Unsurprisingly, their publicity shoot to promote the event is already receiving pretty good coverage on mainstream news networks in Russia.

Hmmm… didn’t see that one coming.


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