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FIFA World Cup

Blatter concerned by Russian soccer racism before World Cup

Blatter concerned by extent of soccer racism in World Cup host Russia, says it's top of agenda
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

HOLYWOOD, Northern Ireland - FIFA President Sepp Blatter is concerned by a study that highlighted the scale of Russian soccer's racism problem ahead of the 2018 World Cup, warning there "must be some sanctions" if the extremism is not eradicated.

A report produced by the Fare network, an organization that combats discrimination in football, and the Moscow-based SOVA Center showed that Russia is plagued by a racist and far-right extremist fan culture.

Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final no later than Dec. 18

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final no later than Dec. 18 in Qatar
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

HOLYWOOD, Northern Ireland - FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar to take place no later than Dec. 18, a date that would avoid a conflict with the powerful Premier League over the Christmas schedule in England.

Scale of racism in Cup host Russia a threat, report says

Scale of discrimination in Russian soccer is a threat to World Cup visitors, report says
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Russian football is plagued by a racist and far-right extremist fan culture that threatens the safety of visitors to the 2018 World Cup, according to a report provided to The Associated Press.

Researchers from the Moscow-based SOVA Center and the Fare network, which helps to prosecute racism cases for European football's governing body UEFA, highlighted more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.

Scale of racism in Cup host Russia a threat, report says

Scale of discrimination in Russian soccer is a threat to World Cup visitors, report says
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Russian football is plagued by a racist and far-right extremist fan culture that threatens the safety of visitors to the 2018 World Cup, according to a report provided to The Associated Press.

Researchers from the Moscow-based SOVA Center and the Fare network, which helps to prosecute racism cases for European football's governing body UEFA, highlighted more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.

Russian soccer stadiums a throwback to 1980s England

Russian soccer stadiums are still a throwback to grim days of English hooliganism
James Ellingworth, The Associated Press

Watching a football match in Russia often carries echoes of the grim era of hooliganism in 1980s Britain.

There are crumbling stadiums, sparse crowds, clashes between hardcore fans and police, and despite a recent ban, often a pervasive smell of cigarette smoke.

Also, as shown Friday in a report by an anti-discrimination groupers, pervasive racism is directed against players and fans from ethnic minorities.

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