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Sports

REUTERS
April 17, 2018

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Russia ready to cooperate with FIFA probe into racist chants

MOSCOW: Russia will cooperate with a FIFA investigation into racist abuse directed at French players by Russian fans during a pre-World Cup friendly last month, a Russian soccer official said on Monday.

Alexei Smertin, the Russian Football Union’s anti-discrimination inspector, said global soccer’s governing body had informed it about the launch of an investigation into the incident.“The Russian Football Union is ready to take an active part in it (the FIFA probe) and is already conducting an internal investigation,” Smertin said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

A Reuters photographer at pitch level for France’s 3-1 win over Russia in St Petersburg heard monkey chants directed at French players on several occasions, including when midfielder N’Golo Kante came to the sideline for a throw-in.Russia has pledged to crack down on racism as the country faces increased scrutiny ahead of this year’s World Cup, which it will host from June 14 to July 15 in 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.

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