Sexism bigger problem than racism at World Cup, anti-discrimination body says


Sexism has been a bigger problem than racism at the World Cup in Russia, with more than 30 cases reported, Piara Powar, executive director of the Fare network, said on Wednesday.

Powar said at a news conference on diversity and anti-discrimination that around 15 of these cases involved female World Cup reporters and the others Russian women on the streets.

However, he acknowledged that the number of incidents on the streets may have been 10 times higher but not reported. Fare is an anti-discrimination network that monitors fan behavior as a partner of FIFA.

Powar spoke of "an interesting tournament" in which fears of racism from Russian fans had not materialized, saying: "The Russian people played a magnificent role, there were no issues from Russians to report."

But he suggested that homophobia should have the same status as racism in the FIFA statutes and added that a more coordinated approach was needed from football organizations, such as FIFA and regional confederations, when it comes to repeat offenses from countries including Mexico and Croatia.

Meanwhile FIFA's head of sustainability and diversity, Federico Addiechi, defended differing sanctions, such as 70,000 Swiss francs (70,000 dollars) for Croatia not using official drinks during a match and 10,000 francs for Mexico because of their fans' homophobic chanting.

This led to some criticism but Addiechi said various elements, such as cooperation of the country's federation, were taken into account in determining sanctions. He pledged that FIFA would be more transparent in the future and that it would publish its criteria for a sanction.

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