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FIFA official slams lack of action against discrimination

There is ‘disconnect’ between stated aims and action: Jeffrey Webb

FIFA’s anti-discrimination head, Jeffrey Webb, has spoken out against world football’s governing body for its lack of action in tackling racism and homophobia among fans attending World Cup games in Brazil. Credit: fifa.com

FIFA’s anti-discrimination head has spoken out against world football’s governing body for its lack of action in tackling racism and homophobia among fans attending World Cup games in Brazil.

According to a report on DNA, Jeffrey Webb spoke of a “disconnect” between FIFA’s intention to deal with discrimination during matches and its implementation of proposed measures to deploy trained staff to look into cases of abusive behaviour by fans.

Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), a network that monitors spectators’ behaviour, reported that Mexican spectators could be heard chanting the word puto,which can be variously translated as “man-whore,” “fag” or “coward.” The group also reported that Russian and Croatian fans had unfurled neo-Nazi banners during games, Outsport reports.

But a FIFA disciplinary committee concluded that the use of the word puto was not meant to be insulting, as it was not aimed at a specific player, while the Croatian and Russian teams were not fined or disciplined, since the spectators who displayed the banners could not be identified, Pink News reports.

Webb says anti-discrimination officers should be on the ground in Brazil to investigate and report such behaviour. “This is exactly what we are trying to work on, and it should have been in place for this World Cup.”