St. Petersburg round-table to discuss challenges in Russia ahead of 2018 World Cup10 October 2014

Aninternationalround-tablewillbringtogethernotforprofitorganisations,governmentdelegates,footballclubsandfanrepresentativestodiscuss,today(10October),inSt.Petersburg,Russia’schallengesaheadofthe2018WorldCup.

An overview of the Fare Football People action weeks will be the starting point to a discussion on football as means for inclusion of minority groups and the social legacy of mega sporting events, such as European Championships, World Cups and Olympic Games.

Drawing on Fare experience at footballing mega events including UEFA Euro 2004, FIFA World Cup 2006, UEFA Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, in Poland and Ukraine, issues around identifying the presence of far-right groups inside stadiums, incidents in football and co-ordinated action in tackling discrimination in host cities will also be addressed.

Results of the Fare monitoring system in Russian stadiums, between 2012 and 2014, will be presented by the information-analytical centre SOVA and later published on farenet.org.

Consequently, a discussion on the presence of far-right extremism in terraces, following a number of incidents in the country’s football, will engage the event’s attendees and participants.

The daylong programme will also present good practice examples, including the Polish football league for immigrants, refugees and different religious groups, Ethnoliga, in Poland, and FC Zenit Saint Petersburg social responsibility projects.

Fans of the St.Petersburg based club became well-known in football after making public, in 2012, a manifesto calling for non-white and gay players to be excluded from their team. Zenit players, including the Brazilian forward Hulk, have also been the target of racial abuse in Russian domestic matches in different occasions.

A final panel will access the challenges and opportunities for diversity in the run-up and during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

zenit