Nearly 100 cases of racism have been recorded between 2014 and 2016 at football stadiums across Moscow, the Russian capital’s chief human rights ombudswoman said Thursday.
International football and UN officials have voiced concerns over Russia’s efforts to combat racism as the country prepares to host the 2018 World Cup. Moscow-based racism-monitoring group Sova Center recorded more than 200 acts of racism committed by Russian fans between 2012 and 2014.
Moscow human rights ombudswoman Tatyana Potyayeva told reporters on Thursday that 21 of the recorded 99 acts of racism, discrimination and xenophobia constituted a “real attack.”
“This applies to Russian fans and teams,” Potyayeva said as quoted by the Interfax news agency.
She suggested that Russia make use of observers to oversee matches for incidents of racism or discrimination. “This person informs the referee and the match can be paused. If the conflict is not resolved, the match can be suspended,” the ombudswoman said.