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Sexism bigger problem than racism at World Cup in Russia

RACISM IN RUSSIA: Many thought racist attacks would be a big problem at the World Cup

SEXISM HAS been a bigger issue than racism at this year’s World Cup, according to reports from anti-discrimination experts.

The Fare network, an anti-discrimination organisation that advises Fifa, said that the harassment of female journalists as they worked was among around 30 incidents of “sexism on the streets”.

Piara Powar, the executive director of the Fare Network, said that sexism had been a significant problem during the World Cup in Russia and that the total number of incidents are likely to be 10 times as much as those reported.

Powar said that among the cases of “sexism on the streets” were several incidents of female broadcasters being grabbed or kissed while on air.

Before the World Cup began, many feared that it would be marred by racism.

The threat of being subjected to racism meant some fans chose to stay away from the football tournament and even led England’s Danny Rose to urge his family not to travel to the country to see him play in person.

But despite concerns, Powar said: "There haven't been a great deal of incidents of the type we expected.”

Powar praised the Russian people for playing “a magnificent role” in making visitors feel welcome and also acknowledged the work of the authorities to keep homegrown hooligans from attending games.

Spotlight on sexism

The head of Fifa’s diversity programme, Federico Addiechi, has called on broadcasters to stop showing close ups of attractive women in the stands atb World Cup matches.

Addiechi said that although the common practise is not currently banned, “this is one of the activities that we definitely will have in the future. It’s a normal evolution”.

As well as the attacks against female journalists, ordinary Russian women have faced sexist criticism for dating foreign football fans.

Platon Besedin, a columnist for the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper in Russia, wrote: "Russian women are bringing shame to themselves and their country."

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