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FIFA Wants 2018 World Cup Host Russia To 'Clarify' Anti-Gay Laws

The Olympics aren't the only major athletic event dealing with concerns over Russia's anti-gay laws. 

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), soccer's international governing body, is also seeking clarification on the country's anti-gay laws and their enforcement--specifically because Russia is scheduled to host the 2018 World Cup.

The Associated Press reports

"FIFA has asked the Russian authorities for clarification and more details on this new law," soccer's governing body said in a statement Tuesday.

"Russia has committed to provide all visitors and fans with a warm welcome and ensure their safety" during the month long tournament, FIFA said, adding that "FIFA trusts that the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts will deliver on this promise."

FIFA has a direct link to the Russian government, with Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko serving under FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the soccer body's 27-member executive board.

Mutko has said that Olympic athletes would have to respect the country's laws during the Feb. 7-23 Winter Games, and that international reaction needed to "calm down."

FIFA noted that its statutes "foresee zero tolerance against discrimination."

Article 3 states: "Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion."

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FIFA seems to trust Russian officials, even though FIFA board member, Vitaly Mutko sparked one of the latest rounds of outcry when he publicly stated that athletes and spectators would be held to the standards of Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws. 

What will it take for FIFA or the IOC to actually show some real concern? An athlete being arrested for waving a rainbow flag on the medal podium??

 

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