From left, first plan: Alan Dzagoyev (Russia), Paul Pogba (France) and Alexander Golovin (Russia) during the friendly match between Russia and France

FIFA Opens Probe Into Claims of Racist Abuse During Russia-France Friendly

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - FIFA has notified the Russian Football Union (RFS) that it has launched an investigation into alleged racist abuse of French players by Russian fans during a pre-World Cup friendly between the two countries last month, RFS anti-racism and discrimination inspector Alexei Smertin told Sputnik.

"FIFA has notified the RFS that it has initiated an investigation regarding racist chants from the stands during a friendly between Russia and France that was played in St. Petersburg on March 27. The RFS is ready to actively participate, in particular, we are conducting an internal investigation. An inquiry to the Interior Ministry has been made regarding the identities of some people who were involved in the incidents," RFS anti-racism and discrimination inspector Alexei Smertin said.

He added that if their guilt is proven the offenders could be banned from attending FIFA 2018 World Cup matches as well as Russian Premier League games.

READ MORE: UEFA Not Planning to Press Charges Against CSKA Moscow Over Fans' Alleged Racism

The International Football Federation (FIFA) said earlier that it has been gathering information regarding the racist abuse after an AFP photographer drew attention to the racist shouts by some fans at the stadium when France striker Ousmane Dembele was taking corner kicks.

Russia will host its first World Cup this summer, with the games scheduled to take place from June 14 to July 15 at 12 arenas in 11 cities.

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Tags:
friendly match, probe, racism, 2018 FIFA World Cup, RFS, FIFA, Russia, France
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