MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) will check earlier media reports that racist chants were allegedly heard during a friendly football match between Russia and France on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, an RFU official told TASS on Wednesday.
French sports website Topmercato.com reported earlier that racist chants were heard to be yelled during the friendly match in Russia and they were addressed against French national team’s players Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele.
"We have launched an investigation and all details will be thoroughly examined," Alexei Smertin, the RFU’s anti-racism and discrimination inspector, told TASS. "We will certainly announce the findings of the investigation."
"If violations did take place we will resort to all the necessary measures," Smertin, Russia’s famous former footballer, added.
The French national team defeated Russia 3-1 in a friendly football match held on Tuesday night at a stadium in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
The goals for France were scored by Kylian Mbappe (40th and 83rd minutes) and Paul Pogba (49th minute). Hosts Russia scored once and it was a goal from Fedor Smolov (68th minute).
Security and fans behavior before, during and after football matches is in particular focus of the Russian football authorities as the country is now on the final stretch of hosting this summer the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.