World Cup 2018: FIFA fines Russia over racist chants at France friendly

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The Russian Football Union has been fined £22,000 for racist chants by fans in March's friendly with France.

Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele and N'Golo Kante were said to be among those subjected to taunts in Les Bleus' 3-1 win over the World Cup hosts.

The game was played at Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg, one of the host venues for this summer's event.

 

Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out, called the fine "pitiful".

He said: "The organisation reiterates its belief that the lack of effective action from Fifa against the issue of racism in Russian football will likely result in the further abuse of black players in matches involving the country.

"Ultimately, with this outcome, Kick It Out has little confidence that Fifa can effectively deal with potential incidents of racism during this summer's World Cup and protect those black players, staff and supporters who will be in attendance."

A statement from football's world governing body said Fifa has a "zero tolerance approach" to discrimination.

"Following a thorough investigation including the review of video evidence, after analysing all the specific circumstances of the case, in particular the gravity of the incident but also the limited number of fans involved, (Fifa has) decided that the Russian Football Union was liable for a breach of article 58," it added.

The issue was first reported by photographers from news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), who said they heard chants when players went to take corners.

It is the latest in a number of incidents of discrimination linked to Russia.

Earlier in March, Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said: "I do not think we have racism on a scale that needs to be fought."

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