Russia launches anti-racism football taskforce

March 22nd, 2012 - 2:32 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, March 22 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian Football Union (RFU) has launched a dedicated taskforce to tackle racism in the game, just days after a banana was thrown at a player from the stands.

The banana was thrown at Anzhi defender Christopher Samba.

The RFU’s ethics committee decided to create a special working group that would address “racism, xenophobia and extremism”, the union said on its website.

Russia will host the 2018 World Cup, but there are fears the run-up could be affected by racism after a string of incidents in domestic matches this season.

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko has vowed to investigate the incident when Samba was targeted after his team’s 1-0 defeat at Lokomotiv Moscow.

Anzhi’s Roberto Carlos was a victim of two incidents involving bananas, while fans at Spartak Moscow are known to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday during games.

Russian Premier League clubs Zenit St. Petersburg and Krylya Sovetov were each fined $10,000 after their fans racially abused Roberto Carlos.

The federation has ordered Torpedo Moscow to play their next home game behind closed doors after fans shouted racist slogans and threw snowballs at Alania Vladikavkaz defender Dacosta Goore.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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