Gays, Blacks, Warned Over Safety In Russia During Next Year’s World Cup

Gay, black and ethnic minority football fans will be advised on safety at the 2018 World Cup that will take place in Russia beginning June.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities for instance will be warned about holding hands in public as part of advice on keeping safe in the streets of Russia.

A United Kingdom anti-discrimination group (FARE) is producing a guide for supporters from the black, LGBT and ethnic minority.

Even though homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 , prejudice is still common and the LGBT community still experience widespread abuse.

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“The same message the three groups is clear- do go to the World Cup but be cautious,” a spokesperson for FARE said.

“If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, they might face danger in doing so depending on which city they are in and the time of day,” she said.

“It is not a crime to be gay (in Russia) but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”

FIFA has been struggling to tackle persistent homophobic chanting by fans, particularly in Central and South America, where countries such as Chile and Mexico have been repeatedly fined to little effect with the football governing body said to have a “zero-tolerance approach to discrimination”.

However, pro LGBT activists claim there is no offense of homophobia in FIFA’s rules and demand there should be.

“It is critical there is a clear message about FIFA’s ability to act in these cases against the fans that are responsible, an activist said.”

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Written by Kahawa Tungu


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