Russia and FIFA have to make some big changes to behavior of certain people, otherwise the 2018 World Cup will either be a boycotted mess or a show of disgrace.
On Wednesday, reports surfaced that black Manchester City players, including Yaya Toure were racially abused via chants from the crowd during their 2-1 win away at CSKA Moscow. It may be one small incident, but it is not the first time that racism has been reported during Russian sporting events. With Neo-Nazi groups, a lack of Goverment action and such a huge population, discrimination is well reported as being a serious problem in Russia.
As we all know, it’s not acceptable. UEFA and FIFA have the control over those areas in terms of giving punishments. They have already shown their support in kicking racism out of football this year, with big promotional schemes and the banning of Legia Warsaw and Honved‘s fans from attending home games.
But something more needs to be done. Currently, CSKA fans are almost certainly set to receive a partial stadium ban if Toure’s report is agreed with by UEFA. If another offence is repeated again, then they will receive a full stadium ban — for one game. That would be coupled with a £50,000 fine. I find this mad. How can you give such insignificant punishments for such a massive issue on a huge stage?
Committing racial abuse on more than one occasion should lead to serious punishments. That should range from points deduction to big money fines. This way the clubs will clamp down on it more heavily because right now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The 2018 World Cup will see not take place only in stadiums, but interactions all over the country with global fans. They need to send out a signal now and show that there is no place for racism in football. It should be beneficial and also help kick homophobia out football as that is a massive issue in Russia.
The matter of fact is that if the fear of humans throwing unjust hate at each other is not convincing enough for FIFA to take action, then boycotting probably will. Toure stated that he and other African players would simply not travel to Russia in 2018 if the risk of receiving racial abuse is still evident. Without African players and players with African links, there could be no World Cup. It is not fantasy to suggest that one nation boycotting would soon spread to others.
In recent years, we’ve all become bored of the media’s stories to create fear for fans before major football tournaments. But this is real — Russia has serious issues with large cases of racism and homophobia on brutal levels. I’ll close with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany‘s Tweet: