Russian football fans have come under the spotlight again with the World Cup a few weeks away after several France players were subjected to racist insults by some sections of the home support in Saint Petersburg as Les Bleus beat the 2018 hosts 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday night.
According to French media, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé were targeted by some fans in Saint Petersburg’s Krestovski stadium with chants of “monkey, monkey” during the game. L’Èquipe reported that photographers who were at pitch-side corroborated the reports with RMC Sport adding Pogba and Dembélé came in for the worse treatment.
Fifa and Fare monitoring situation in Russia
Fifa have promised a crackdown on racism in stadiums during the World Cup, while advisors to the world governing body, Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare), have issued a warning to LGBT fans attending to the tournament to exercise “caution” in some cities, while also stating: "The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans – do go to the World Cup but be cautious.”