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Russia Appoint Utterly Laughable Anti-Racism Inspector Ahead Of The 2018 World Cup

Russia Appoint Utterly Laughable Anti-Racism Inspector Ahead Of The 2018 World Cup
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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The 2018 World Cup in Russia is hovering into view, and its location means that it is a competition that may come to be viewed as a seismic event in sporting, if not political, history.

The awarding of the tournament is steeped in controversy, and there are some serious concerns about the staging of the competition in Russia. The tournament's chief organiser, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, was accused by an independent IAAF report in 2015 of complicity in a wide-ranging track-and-field doping scheme. There is also serious concerns about the issue of hooliganism. Organised Russian thugs blighted the European Championships in France, attacking English fans in Marseille.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, these hooligans promised a BBC documentary that the World Cup would be a "festival of violence".

FIFA president Gianni Infantino played down these worries last week, saying that "I am not concerned about trouble and violence in 2018. I have full confidence in the Russian authorities, they are taking this matter very, very seriously".

Infantino added in the same interview that Russia is a "welcoming country, which wants to celebrate football".

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Their track record of LGBT rights and racism suggests otherwise.

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In football stadia, for instance, more than 100 racist incidents were reported between 2012 and 2014, with players like Roberto Carlos, Peter Odemwingie, and Chris Samba frequent targets during their stints in the Russian league, while Yaya Toure was racially abused by CSKA Moscow fans during a Champions League tie in 2013. Incidents of racial abuse have been consistently downplayed in Russia: for example, the then-CSKA coach Leonard Slutsky claimed not to have heard the monkey chants directed at Toure in 2013.

The Russian football union have today appointed an anti-racism and discrimination inspector, with the role awarded to former Russian and Chelsea midfielder Alexei Smertin.

It's a laughable appointment, however, based off these quotes by Smertin in 2015, given to the BBC World Service:

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There’s no racism in Russia, because it doesn’t exist. It is something against the opposition, not against a person.

Racism in Russia is like fashion. It comes from abroad, from different countries. It was never, ever here before. Ten years ago, some fans may have given a banana to black guys - it was just for fun. I think the media is making the wrong image of Russia.

That's actually the old 'racism is for foreign people' line. Christ above.

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[The Guardian]

See Also: Preston's Irish Contingent May Unexpectedly Have Just Gotten Bigger

 

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