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FIFA to step up anti-discrimination efforts ahead of 2018 World Cup — FIFA official

July 23, 2015, 19:28 UTC+3

The FIFA official said a special monitoring system was set up to keep the track and register all possible acts of discrimination and racism at the qualifiers in the run-up to the championship

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ST. PETERSBURG, July 23. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The world’s governing body of football will be closely monitoring all possible manifestations of discrimination and racism during the qualifying matches ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia, a senior FIFA official said on Thursday.

"We [FIFA] have the strongest sanctioning possible, but we lack the evidence gathering," FIFA’s Head of Sustainability Federico Addiechi told a news conference on in Russia’s St. Petersburg.

The FIFA official said a special monitoring system was set up to keep the track and register all possible acts of discrimination and racism at the qualifiers in the run-up to the global football championship in Russia and report the incidents with the organization’s Disciplinary Committee.

"That is what the monitoring system is aiming to do," Addiechi said presenting the sustainability strategy for the football championship in Russia. "We are going to analyze the qualifiers, we are going to send experts to those countries."

"We are going to attend and collect evidence in case of such incidents and then file to the Disciplinary Committee, for them [in turn] to take the necessary actions, and then to apply the necessary sanctions," Addiechi added.

FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced on Thursday an encompassing range of activities for the planning and holding of the world’s much-anticipated football event, to be hosted by Russia in less than three years.

The announced measures are aimed to rule out any potential negative effect from the organization of the world’s mega sport event and, on the contrary, to turn it for the benefit of the environment, people and economy, i.e. to make it sustainable.

Commenting on the presented strategy of sustainability for the football championship in Russia, Chief of the Anti-Discrimination Section at the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Yuri Boychenko, said it would have a positive impact on the fight against racism in football.

"This process has been an inclusive one, closely involving stakeholders in the strategy’s development," he said. "On racism and discrimination, the World Cup represents a great opportunity to raise awareness and implement initiatives that can have a real impact."

The sustainability strategy for the football championship in Russia was announced on Thursday, two days ahead of the 2018 World Cup Preliminary Draw in the country’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.

2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw

A total of 208 nations have signed up for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.

The World Cup’s Preliminary Draw, which was first broadcast on television in 1971, underwent a remarkable evolutionary process throughout the years and is seen as the most to important cultural showpiece and the kick-start event for the championship itself.

In different decades and years this cultural showpiece was staged on numerous prominent global venues, including Louvre Museum in Paris, Madison Square Garden in New York and many others, and, according to FIFA official website, Russia’s St. Petersburg will continue "the tradition of memorable draws."

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