Fears Russian World Cup will be rife with discrimination
FIFA’s anti discrimination chief, Jeffrey Webb has suggested the organisation will need to assemble a special team trained in tackling homophobia and racism to attend the 2018 World Cup in Russia due to the country’s poor record on LGBTI rights.
The comment comes off the back of increasing incidents of racism and homophobia at the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, which have seen FIFA criticised by LGBTI sports fans and advocates for failing to chastise fans for hurling homophobic and racist abuse during matches.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee ruled there would be no action taken against Mexico after its fans chanted the word ‘puto’ – or ‘faggot’ in Spanish – at the opposing team.
The organisation also failed to penalise Germany whose fans had donned black face during a match against Ghana or Croatian fans who waved Neo Nazi flags.
While Webb acknowledged there was a definite problem in terms of racism and homophobia at the 2014 World Cup, he suggested things will be much worse in 2018.
Webb told reporters that there was a "disconnect" between FIFA's stated aim of stamping out discrimination at games and its failure to back a proposal to use trained staff in Brazil to investigate and report on cases.
"There is absolutely no reason why at this World Cup we don't have anti-discrimination officers here doing proper investigations, proper reporting,"
Webb went on to tell journalists the problem would be worse in Russia.
“Russia itself needs a special task force, just for Russia and from an educational standpoint internally.”