FIFA are set to provide additional support to Russia to tackle the country’s problems with racism ahead of the 2018 World Cup and claim they hope the tournament will have a “positive impact” on the country.
Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s head of sustainability, described a report detailing the country’s problems with racism as “significant” but rejected notions that Russia could be stripped of the tournament should reports continue to cast a negative light on the country in the years building up to the event.
“We expect the FIFA World Cup to have a positive impact, not just on the discrimination issue,” he said.
“The World Cup 2018 will take place in Russia, there has been a commitment by the Russian Government and Russian football authorities in staging an inclusive World Cup and ensuring that everyone is safe and welcome in the country.
“We see in this case that our Member Association the Russian Football Union are in need of extra support and that is the sort of support that we can provide.
“And we hope that reports we receive in the next few years have a positive trend.”
Addiechi was speaking at the launch of FIFA’s Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary competition, which implements recommendations of the FIFA Task Force against Racism and Discrimination.