‘We’ll abandon games if there’s racism from fans’ – FIFA boss Infantino (VIDEO)
Infantino, who spoke on various issues surrounding next summer’s World Cup in a short video published on the FIFA website on Monday, expressed hope that the upcoming football showpiece will be staged in the right atmosphere.
“We expect a great atmosphere in Russia next summer. The world will discover a country which is open, which is welcoming, which is warm, which loves to party and to enjoy and celebrate football,” he said.
“We expect fair play on the pitch and when speak about fair play we have to speak about anti-discrimination and anti-doping as well. Speaking about doping obviously all players in all teams will be tested in competition and out of competition and we are sure that everyone is well aware of this situation,” he concluded.
It’s expected that the doping tests for the World Cup will be collected and analyzed at World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratories, as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) remains suspended for non-compliance with the WADA code.
The FIFA chief also outlined that for the first time in football history referees will have the power to halt matches if racial incidents occur at a stadium.
“When it comes to anti-discrimination it is the same at FIFA. This is a very high priority and we’ll make sure that no incidents will happen, and if incidents happen then we have for the first time in a World Cup the so-called three-step procedure where a referee can stop a game or even abandon a game if there are discriminatory racists incidents. This is absolutely not tolerable and we will be very, very firm on that so we can expect fair play in Russia,” Infantino noted.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in 11 Russian cities from 14 June to 15 July.
The Final Draw for football’s centerpiece event will take place on 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.