World football governing body Fifa has fined the Russian football federation 30,000 Swiss francs ($29,900) on Tuesday because fans racially abused France players during a game in St. Petersburg.
In disturbing scenes ahead of the 2018 World Cup to be hosted by Russia, Monkey chants were aimed at black players, including Paul Pogba, during France’s 3-1 win over Russia in a friendly in March.
FIFA said its disciplinary panel, chaired by Anin Yeboah, a supreme court judge from Ghana, noted “the gravity of the incident but also the limited number of fans involved.”
The stadium in St. Petersburg will host seven World Cup games, including Russia’s Group A game against Egypt and a semifinal match.
The comes in the wake of racism charges by UEFA against Zenit St. Petersburg in two Europa League games this season.
On May 31, two weeks before the World Cup opens, UEFA will judge a charge of racist chanting by Zenit fans during a game against Leipzig after monitors from anti-discrimination group Fare said the chants mocked an injured black player for the German club.
To tackle the menace of racism, Fifa will be working with Fare experts for the first time at the World Cup.
“FIFA has also introduced a three-step procedure in case of discriminatory incidents, which allows referees to actively intervene to make the discriminatory behaviour stop,” the governing body said.
“FIFA calls on all fans to come to the stadiums in a spirit of unity, peace and friendship.”