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FIFA statement on Russia

(FIFA.com) Wednesday 14 August 2013

In the context of the adoption of the federal law 'on prohibition of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations' in Russia, FIFA has asked the Russian authorities for clarification and more details on this new law.

The FIFA Statutes (Article 3) as well as the FIFA Code of Conduct, which defines the most important values and principles for behavior and conduct in the world of football, foresee zero tolerance against discrimination based, among other, on sexual orientation.

FIFA expects that all guests in a FIFA World Cup™ host country, whether they are fans, players, officials or media, experience a great FIFA World Cup irrespective of their sexual orientation.

FIFA is firmly convinced that the staging of the FIFA World Cup can contribute to uniting people and having a positive social impact. Russia has committed to provide all visitors and fans with a warm welcome and ensure their safety. FIFA trusts that the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts will deliver on this promise.

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Blatter: FIFA set to move 2022 WCup from summer

ULRICHEN, Switzerland (AP) FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects his executive committee to decide soon that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be switched from the searing heat of summer.

Blatter told The Associated Press on Sunday that an Oct. 3-4 meeting in Zurich should approve the change, and begin consultation on the best time for Qatar to host the tournament.

"I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the ExCo will not accept the principle you cannot play in summer in Qatar," Blatter said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual charity football tournament in his home village. "What will be following, this would be then decided later."

Blatter said consultations would involve leagues, clubs, national associations and players, through their international union FIFPro but he set no timetable.

Qatar's suitability in June and July was questioned even before FIFA's board chose it in December 2010 in a contest with the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia

However, Qatar's World Cup organizing committee has repeatedly stated its confidence in developing stadium air-cooling technology, though the committee also said it will change plans if FIFA formally requested it.

FIFA and Blatter have gradually shifted their position from previously insisting that Qatar must ask for a change a scenario interpreted as protecting FIFA against potential legal challenges.

Now, some of the same FIFA board members who helped choose Qatar in a decisive 14-8 vote over the U.S. are set to change the tournament hosting plan.

"Those that have taken the decision at the time, they knew there is problems with the heat. They knew it, because it was in the (technical) report," Blatter said. "It was wrong to say, 'Now we have to play in summer,' because in summer you cannot play there."

"Therefore the ExCo now shall take the decision and they will take it that in summer you can't play in Qatar."

Blatter has previously suggested November as a possible start for the month-long tournament while recent speculation has focused on May. A January-February slot is unlikely because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Finding new dates could be led by the 27-member FIFA board in its duty to set the fixture schedule for international matches, when clubs must release their players to national teams.

"What will be the ongoing situation with such a decision, we have to look on the international calendar," Blatter said. "We have to look if and how it is possible, when we don't play in summer, when is the best time to play in winter?"

The calendar is currently set through 2018, and the next round of discussions would look to the 2019-2022 cycle of seasons.


Edited by intoronto
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FIFA's Sepp Blatter awaiting clarity on Russia's anti-gay law

The Associated Press Posted: Aug 25, 2013 12:20 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 25, 2013 1:08 PM ET
FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects a reply within days from the government in Russia, the 2018 World Cup host, after requesting clarification of its law prohibiting gay "propaganda."
Blatter told The Associated Press on Sunday that he asked "by letter and by personal contacts" up to President Vladimir Putin for details about legislation which has provoked an international furor ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"The office of Mr. Putin has promised to me that they will send all these documents in the first days of September," said Blatter. "And I have also asked the Swiss embassy to look and to help us to obtain the correct versions of that."
Russia's law prohibiting promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations has been fiercely denounced by activists and criticized by U.S. President Barack Obama.
FIFA joined the IOC in asking Russia how the law would apply during their events, and if athletes and fans face discrimination.
"For the time being we have received only protests and demands from our football, sports or Olympics people. I have received nothing officially from the Russians," said Blatter, who is also an International Olympic Committee member.
FIFA legal statutes state that discrimination is "punishable by suspension or expulsion" for individuals in football or member federations.
"When you speak with the Russians, they don't speak about discrimination, they speak about protection [of minors]. That is different. I said, 'So please give me the evidence that you are protecting somebody and not discriminating,"' Blatter told the AP on the sidelines of his annual charity football tournament in his family's home village.
Issue to be discussed at FIFA meeting
Blatter intends to table the issue at an Oct. 3-4 meeting of the 27-member FIFA executive committee, which includes Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko.
Blatter said he expects to meet with Mutko on 2018 World Cup business ahead of the board meeting in Zurich.
He also offered to help the IOC liaise with Russian authorities, and support the Olympic body's new president who will be elected in a Sept. 10 poll which Blatter will attend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"I can help the IOC because they will have a change of president," Blatter said.
Last Thursday, the IOC announced it had a reply from Russia to clarify how the law would operate around the Feb. 7-23 Winter Games.
"We have today received strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation," outgoing IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a statement.
Still, the letter did not address directly what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures which Russian authorities consider to be propaganda.
© The Associated Press, 2013
The Canadian Press
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FIFA to Question Russia World Cup Chiefs After Yaya Toure Racism Row

FIFA No. 2 Jerome Valcke is set to raise concerns over Russian football’s racism problem at a 2018 World Cup board meeting next week, following the racist abuse directed at Manchester City captain Yaya Touré by CSKA Moscow fans last night.

Valcke and FIFA officials are expected to discuss the racism row with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, a FIFA ExCo member, Russia 2018 CEO Alexey Sorokin and senior LOC managers.

Andrey Lyubeznov, Russia 2018’s director of communications, told INSIDER that the meeting will take place in Kazan on Tuesday. “It will discuss all [Russia 2018] developments in 2013 and plans for 2014,” he said.

Touré last night called on UEFA to come down hard on CSKA Moscow after he was subjected to monkey chants from a section of the crowdin City’s 2-1 win.

"I'm very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think Uefa have to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same situation,” he told BBC RAdid 5 Live.

"I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don't know, for a couple of years or a couple of months."

Touré added: "The club may say they have to educate the fans but I think it's enough; too much is too much."

The racist abuse directed at Touré is not an isolated case. In recent years, high-profile players including Roberto Carlos, Christopher Samba and Peter Odemwingie have been subjected to similar racial chants.

UEFA is said to be awaiting match reports before issuing any comment. Possible sanctions for CSKA Moscow include a partial stadium closure for the club’s next matches.

The racism row comes amid UEFA’s annual FARE Action Weeks, which aim to increase public awareness of intolerance and discrimination in football.

The activities highlight the anti-racism resolution adopted at the UEFA Congress last May, when UEFA’s member associations pledged to step up their efforts to eliminate racism from football and impose stricter sanctions on racist behaviour.

UEFA now has tougher penalties against racism.

The resolution includes encouraging referees to stop, suspend or even abandon a game if racist incidents occur; the imposition of ten-match suspensions on any player or team official found guilty of racist conduct; and stadium closures if fans engage in racist behaviour.


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That's a clever, practical but I bet VERY EXPENSIVE placement for the info boards.

It seems you're right. After being THAT MISERLY with their Olympics, this exemplary democracy will definitely not be willing to spend a few million $ on info boards. Perhaps they will just do it the conservative way and build a stadium out of dirt like yet the Greek in ancient Olympia did. :D

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And I just mean they won't even LOOK at the price tag, it wasn't meant offensive in any way.

BTW, unlike others, I don't believe in a (real) parallel between Sochi and the referendum. Nolympia just did a very polemic campaign. They're main arguments could be summed up as: "Gosh, I'm so angry about the IOC going to dictatorships. So let's go voting to avoid the IOC gets any chance to go to a democratic country!"

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Capello: Russia to Use World Cup as Rehearsal for ‘Real Thing’ in 2018

MOSCOW, January 9 (R-Sport) - Russia will treat the football World Cup as a means to gain experience for “the real thing,” hosting the tournament in 2018, coach Fabio Capello has said in a sober evaluation of the team's chances this summer.

Russia’s last World Cup appearance came in 2002, and reaching the Euro 2008 semifinals remains the country’s only significant international achievement since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Before this, we hadn't qualified for a World Cup in 12 years. Brazil 2014 will help us gain experience of the real thing ahead of the following World Cup in Russia, so we'll go to Brazil with a lot of commitment and the desire to play a good tournament,” Capello said on the FIFA website.

“But although our main objective will be for our players to amass a huge amount of experience, that won't stop us from being ambitious.”

Russia’s immediate priority is to get out of a group featuring Belgium, Algeria and South Korea and Capello suggested he was not setting his sights much higher. There was no mention of the quarterfinal target he set his team in October.

“Naturally, our ambition is to go as far as possible, but knowing how tough it is to get out of the group phase, experiencing that will give our players a full understanding of that particular challenge,” the former England manager said.

“The most important thing will be to arrive there with a winning mentality and the desire to come away with a lot of experience.”

Russian football authorities have made it clear that they want Capello to stay for the country’s 2018 World Cup and contract talks have been going on since early November.

The 67-year-old Italian has yet to sign an extension despite repeated assurances from Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko that he is on the verge of doing so.

Capello took charge of Russia in July 2012 on a two-year contract worth a reported five million euros a year.

After Russia won World Cup qualifying Group F by a point over Portugal, Capello had been linked with a number of jobs at club and country level across Europe.


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Shouldn't this thread be renamed 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia? Also, shouldn't it have it's own section like the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil has?

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Shouldn't this thread be renamed 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia? Also, shouldn't it have it's own section like the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil has?

As I said on Qater, that's not how it's done here. It will get its own section around 2016-2017ish.

Edited by Sir Rols
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So, how does everybody think the Russia 2018 match schedule will be laid out? Will Luzhniki host the Opener and the Final? Will St Petersburg host the Opener? Out of the possible Venues, Luzhniki and Zenit Arena are the only venues up to capacity of hosting the Opener, Semi-Finals, and The Final. Russia done it wrong. With the Venue plan for any Fifa World Cup, they should have at least 4 Venues over 60,000 Seats, like Brazil has with Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. They could of temporarily expanded Fisht Olympic Stadium to 60,000 Seats, and maybe Spartak Stadium. Then, the Opener and Final can go to Luzhinki, and Semi Finals to Zenit Arena and Fisht Olympic Stadium. I can see maybe Kazan hosting the 3rd/4th Place Play-Off. This is how I would do the Match Schedule:

Opening Match - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (81,000 Seats).

Semi Final 1 - Zenit Arena, St Petersburg (68,000 Seats).

Semi Final 2 - Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi (Temporarily 60,000 Seats).

3rd/4th Place - Kazan Arena, Kazan (45,000 Seats).

Final - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (81,000 Seats).

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I'm pretty sure the opener will go to Moscow. I agree that Russia is somewhat disappointing with the stadiums being on a smallish side. Even South Africa had bigger venues but maybe it's more responsible to avoid oversized stadiums, more white elephants is the last thing Russia and the World Cup needs.

They are basically just fulfilling the minimum requirements.

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I'm pretty sure the opener will go to Moscow. I agree that Russia is somewhat disappointing with the stadiums being on a smallish side. Even South Africa had bigger venues but maybe it's more responsible to avoid oversized stadiums, more white elephants is the last thing Russia and the World Cup needs.

They are basically just fulfilling the minimum requirements.

Temporary seating is the solution. They should have at least 4 Stadiums over 60,000 Seats, with 1 or 2 Stadiums over 70,000 Seats and 2 Stadiums over 60,000 Seats

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