FIFA questions RFU over response to Emmanuel Frimpong abuse
FIFA has asked the Russian Football Union (RFU) to explain why it banned FC Ufa midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong for two matches for his reaction to racism from Spartak Moscow fans while not punishing the alleged abusers' club.
In video from Friday's Russian Premier League game, Spartak fans could be heard racially taunting former Arsenal player Frimpong.
The Ghanaian made a gesture with his finger in response to the taunts, which saw him banned for two games, while Spartak escaped punishment over the latest racism incident to blight Russian football ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The RFU found no evidence of racism, but FIFA sustainability head Federico Addiechi, whose brief covers racism issues, said that the association has been given until Tuesday to respond to the governing body's disciplinary department.
"We don't have a direct responsibility for what's happening in the Russian league," Addiechi said in St. Petersburg. "But if the Russian Football Union are in need of our support, and I think they are, then we can provide certain support."
Russia's second city on Saturday hosts the qualifying draw for the World Cup, which has increased the spotlight on the country's struggle eradicating racism from football matches.
"It is up to us as the organisers of this event to make sure this event is welcoming everyone, it is safe for everyone -- not just for the players and participants but also for the fans," Addiechi said.
"It would be naive and first of all too arrogant for us to come here and say we are going to educate Russia. We are in no position to do that, we don't need to do that, we have no moral statute to do that either."
Frimpong himself had posted on his Twitter account to question the RFU's response to the incident.
Also in other news been banned for two games acceptable on my part for the gesture no problems with that- I AM FRIMPONG (@IAMFRIMPONG26) July 22, 2015
But for the Russian FA to say they didn't hear or see any evidence of racism is beyond a Joke ...Glad it's all over dough thanks for support- I AM FRIMPONG (@IAMFRIMPONG26) July 22, 2015
I've always said we are blessed in England and how wonderful of a country it is not saying there ain't racism in England of course but not- I AM FRIMPONG (@IAMFRIMPONG26) July 22, 2015
To this crazy extend we live on thanks Gooner family and everyone for your support must stressed not all Russians behave like that ����- I AM FRIMPONG (@IAMFRIMPONG26) July 22, 2015
Zenit St Petersburg star Hulk said this week he encounters racism in "almost every game" in Russia and feared it could tarnish the country when it hosts the World Cup.
In December 2010, within hours of winning the FIFA vote to host its first World Cup, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said on football racism: "We see it and we believe it is a problem."
In March, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was "concerned" that football anti-discrimination group FARE documented more than 200 incidents of racist and discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.