Russia Launches Anti-Racism Football Taskforce

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The Russian Football Union has launched a dedicated taskforce to tackle racism in the game, just days after a banana was thrown at Anzhi defender Christopher Samba from the stands.

The Russian Football Union has launched a dedicated taskforce to tackle racism in the game, just days after a banana was thrown at Anzhi defender Christopher Samba from the stands.

“The RFU’s ethics committee has decided to create a special working group made up of members of the committee,” the union said on its website, adding that the body would address “racism, xenophobia and extremism.”

Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup, but there are fears the run-up could be blighted by racism after a string of incidents in the domestic game this season.

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko vowed Tuesday to investigate the incident when Samba was targeted after his team's 1-0 defeat at Lokomotiv Moscow. But he but claimed that Russia doesn't suffer significantly more than any other country and said it was wrong to suggest otherwise.

Anzhi’s Roberto Carlos was the victim of two incidents involving bananas, while fan groups at Spartak Moscow have been known to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday during games.

Russian Premier League clubs Zenit St. Petersburg and Krylya Sovetov were each fined $10,000 after their fans racially abused Roberto Carlos.

Last week, the federation ordered Torpedo Moscow to play their next home game behind closed doors after fans shouted racist slogans and threw snowballs at Ivorian-born Alania Vladikavkaz defender Dacosta Goore.

 

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