Some observers say that the World Cup competition could actually be used to foster positive change among fans in Russia.
News that the 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia is stirring some alarm, as a rise in neo-Nazi activity and racist killings in the country have led many soccer fans of color to wonder aloud if Russia is an appropriate place to host the international tournament. —JCL
Russia’s football authorities, who will host the 2018 World Cup, have ignored a surge in race-related incidents around the sport, according to campaigners.
Their warnings come amid a rise in racist murders and neo-Nazi activity in the country that could deter thousands of non-white football fans from attending the tournament.
Rafal Pankowski, who monitors racist activity at Russian football matches with the backing of the European football body Uefa, accused the Russian Football Union of downplaying racist chants and far-right activity in its stadiums.