FIFA has admitted Russia is so homophobic, the world soccer governing body will need a ‘special task force’ to deal with it at the next World Cup.
Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s anti-discrimination chief, has said the organization will need to deploy staff specifically trained to tackle homophobic abuse the next time the world comes together to play football.
LGBTI fans have condemned the body for failing to tackle homophobic and racist abuse properly at the World Cup in Brazil.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee ruled there would be no action against Mexico after its fans chanted the word ‘puto’ – or ‘faggot’ in Spanish – at the opposition during games.
It also took no action against German fans who blacked up their faces at a match against Ghana or Croatian fans who displayed neo-Nazi flags.
But for Webb, he said training must be improved in the build-up to the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
‘It is much more of a problem in Russia,’ he told reporters. ‘Russia itself needs a special task force, just for Russia and from an educational standpoint internally.’
Webb said there was a ‘disconnect’ between FIFA’s stated aim of stamping out discrimination and its failure to actually carry it out.
‘There is absolutely no reason why at this World Cup we don’t have anti-discrimination officers here doing proper investigations, proper reporting,’ he said.
‘It is obvious there is a disconnect between what we in the Task Force deem as racism and discrimination and what the Disciplinary Committee deems as racism and discrimination.’
GSN gave FIFA an opportunity to comment on Webb’s thoughts, and they have chosen not to respond.