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Russian Football Union Targets Fans Guilty of Racism at France Friendly

Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS

Russia’s football union has said it will impose fines on fans who made racist chants at a France friendly ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

The world’s football governing body FIFA on Tuesday fined the Russian Football Union $30,000 for monkey chants directed at French players during a friendly game in March in St. Petersburg. Russia has pledged to crack down on discrimination and xenophobia as the country faces increased scrutiny leading up to the tournament it hosts in 11 cities in June and July.

“Those few people who allowed themselves to make insulting chants were practically immediately identified by law enforcement agencies,” acting RFU head Alexander Alayev told the RBC business portal on Wednesday.

Alayev said that fans who were identified as having participated in the racist abuse at the March 27 friendly would be ordered to compensate the RFU for the fine.  

“Thanks to the joint work of FIFA and the RFU, an atmosphere of celebration and respect for each other will reign [at the World Cup],” he pledged.

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