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Russia appoint anti-racism commission

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RUSSIA RACISIMMOSCOW, Russia, March 31 – Russian football chiefs have appointed an anti-racism tsar in a bid to tackle the thorny issue plaguing the game in Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup in the country.

Newly-appointed anti-racism chief Alexei Tolkachev said that his main goal would be to liaise with the football leagues and fans to prevent any racist incidents that could mar the game nationally.

“There should be a systematic approach,” Tolkachev told the press on Tuesday after his appointment by Russia’s Football Union (RFU).

“We desperately need to implement the zero tolerance approach to any kind of discrimination in football, which has been declared by the European football ruling body UEFA.

“Within the scope of this plan we need to work out a programme of the events aimed at reducing the number of racist outbreaks in our country’s football.”

Tolkachev added that he wanted to find a new way of communicating with football fans to try to break an ingrained culture of xenophobia and hostility on the terraces.

“It’s a broad problem,” he said.

“It seriously depends on how a child is brought up and on education as well.

“Of course the administrative responsibility should also be in place but I hope we will be able to establish a meaningful dialogue with the country’s football lovers.”

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