FIFA has announced plans to tackle racism in Russia leading up to the 2018 World Cup. The head of FIFA’s anti racism and discrimination task force, Jeffrey Webb has stated that “Russia is a big challenge” and that the Russians are “going to start addressing it” and “we are going to work with them.”
This report follows a spate of recent issues surrounding racism in Russian football, with CSKA Moscow being forced to play in an empty stadium, after racist chants were directed at Manchester City players in the champions league game in October.
There have been suggestions from Manchester city midfielder Yaya Toure, that black players may choose to boycott the upcoming world cup if the current situation is not dealt with.
Former West Ham striker Leroy Rosenior, who works on the initiative ‘show racism the red card’, thinks that the threat of FIFA’s biggest tournament being cancelled, will force football’s governing body into more extreme methods of combatting racist issues within Russia.
The aim is to implement new measures within the clubs and dressing rooms. Jeffrey Webb believes that this will have a butterfly effect across the whole of the Russian football community.
“When you impact the club, you impact the stadium, you impact the community,” he added. “It has to start with coaches and players in the dressing room – when that is there, it spreads out.”