By RYAN TOLMICH
Just over three years away from the tournament, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has his concerns heading into 2018’s World Cup in Russia.
Blatter admitted that he is “concerned” with findings of a report regarding the issue of racism in Russia. The report, which was complied by anti-racism organizations The Fare network and Sova Center, says that there have been over 200 cases of documented racist incidents at the country’s soccer matches in the past two seasons.
“Racism is one of the items which is on my agenda on the very top, every day. If it does not stop then there must be some sanctions,” Blatter said, according to BBC Sport. “We have started a big education program with them. They are aware of the situation.”
Blatter has previously said that he has had discussions with Russian president Vladimir Putin on tackling the racism issue.
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning:
PEDRO CONSIDERING FUTURE WITH BARCELONA
Barcelona winger Pedro is reportedly evaluating the next step in his career.
Pedro, whose contract expires at the conclusion of next season, is reportedly considering his future with Barca, with the club willing to part ways with the Spaniard for a fee of $28-34 million.
The winger is reportedly unhappy with his lack of first team minutes, having started only five games in the club’s 2014-15 campaign.
Barcelona reportedly sees Pedro as “a fundamental piece” as a result of his “dedication and sacrifice in each match and at every training session.” However, the club would not be opposed to selling him to avoid the alternative of seeing him walk at the expiration of his contract next summer.
TERRY HAILS LEAGUE CUP AS ‘START OF SOMETHING VERY GOOD’
John Terry and Chelsea are less than 24 hours removed from capturing the League Cup, but the English defender already has his sights set on capturing more silverware.
The centerback says that Chelsea’s League Cup triumph “could be the start of something very good”. With the Champions League and a league crown still on the agenda, Terry believes that the League Cup could be the first of many.
“That’s the first one,” Terry said. “It’s massive. That could be the start of something very good, but now we need to kick on and we’ve got the league to focus on. I thought we handled the game very well and we’re delighted with the win, obviously.
“(Manager Jose Mourinho) made it very clear from the outset that he wanted to win this competition and we’ve done it, so credit to the manager and the squad.”
English FA chairman Greg Dyke has invited all four FIFA presidential candidates to take part in a live debate at Wembley Stadium. (REPORT)
PSV director Toon Gerbrands says that winger Memphis Depay and winger Georginio Wijnaldum could leave the club in the summer. (REPORT)
Liverpool’s Jordan Ibe is set to miss four weeks after suffering a knee ligament injury. (REPORT)
AC Milan will be without Nigel De Jong and Ricardo Montolivo for Saturday’s matchup with Verona. (REPORT)
What do you think FIFA and Russia must do to combat racism? What clubs would be a good fit for Pedro? How many trophies do you expect Chelsea to end up with this season?
Share your thoughts below.
FIFA is like General Motors of the 80’s. GM lead that world in car sales and thought that no matter what they built people would continue to buy their product. However their unsightliness and poor quality almost made them go under. FIFA is only a governing body and does not manufacture a product yet they think their poop doesn’t stink. It does and it will come back to haunt them. I feel soon there will be a revolt by some of the confederations and a new entity will be born.
I’ve been informed that qatar would be working on large infrastructure projects with or without the World Cup being there. Meaning, migrant workers would be flocking to the country either way. Now there is more light and focus on getting workers better working conditions. As Sam Kinnison said. YOU LIVE IN A DESERT!!!
I think the Americans so against a qatar World Cup are really missing the ball on this one. On most soccer debates actually, but we can only take them one at a time.
Dead slaves were never an issue for American fans. The problem we have with the World Cup in Qatar is that they “stole” it from us. We would be quite fine with dead slaves if they just gave us our World Cup back. It says a lot more about us than it does about Qatar.
Thanks for speaking for all of America Rob. Glad to find out that my anger over the cluster-f*** that is the prospect of a 2022 Qatar world cup stems from feelings that the USA got robbed. It’s not like the other candidates for 2022 (Japan, Australia, South Korea) would all have been much better choices. Clearly Qatar’s bid with its bull-sh** promise of fully air-conditioned stadiums made it the superior hosting choice.
then again, maybe if we did not have someone from our federation stealing money from CONCACAF, we could have been more vigorous in our attack of someone making payouts to the same countries.
I don’t speak for all americans, I only speak for me.
No Rob, it just says a lot about you.
Stuff that right back up your poo-hole from whence it came, Rob. Don’t speak for me. I do have a problem with indentured slaves dying in the desert for my entertainment. No thank you. I will pass. And I wish all the sponsors would also pass.
Oh, so if those migrant workers were going to die anyway I guess that makes it okay. And since they were going to build everything anyway they really don’t need to host the World Cup then.
You’re the one who is “missing the ball”. The point is that FIFA possesses a lot of power and influence. They could use that power for good by pressing for serious reform in some of these countries when it comes to the protection of migrants/minorities, or they could just look the other way. It seems that you’re okay with them looking the other way since these large infrastructure projects were going to happen anyway.
Your second paragraph comes off as smug and condescending. This is actually bigger than a “soccer debate” but if that’s how you want to frame it so that you can criticize American soccer fans that’s your problem.
Pablo, this very article is exactly about FIFA pushing for reform, from Russia. the working conditions in Qatar are being reformed as we speak.
if people choose to have the attitude of, well youre damned if you do, and youre damned if you don’t, change will occur much slower. FIFA elections are coming up, and the general assembly will get to vote for a new president.
its interesting that the world game is truly becoming a world game, and for some reason, American fans, a lot of us, are trying very hard to hold this back.
oh yeah, they are racist over in Russia, but I mean shoot, you read American soccer blogs and half of it is one person calling another one a racist. I don’t know, I think if we maybe go clean up our own back yard, before we go knocking on our neighbors door, maybe that would be a good policy for the present, and the near future.
Yes, I’ll believe FIFA is serious about racism when I see it. And I’ve got news for you, the fix is in and Blatter will remain in office.
I must not read the same soccer blogs you do. So since you read where some kid on a blog accused someone else of racism, then nobody in the US should bring up issues in Russia and Qatar? Ok, I think we’re done here. Have a good life.
Pablo, don’t be like that!
Yeah Sepp, because racism just recently became a problem with Russia right after you gave them the World Cup. How could you have been expected to know about it before the award? What will be the next finding that concerns him? That there are indentured servants dying while constructing World Cup facilities in Qatar?
Says the man who once said there isn’t a problem of racism in the sport and for footballers to simply shake hands afterwards and that would fix it.
Sepp lives in a big, Swiss, neutral ivory tower. He’s probably never encountered an ounce of social adversity, so he simply cannot relate and empathize. Anything he says now is contrived lip service, ghost-written by someone else in all likelihood.
Everything this man says comes across disingenuous. Why even report on it?
Spot on Ian. In other news, the sun is still hot, water’s wet and Blatter’s still a joke.
Someone needs to make a Sepp meme. “Worried about racism … Doesn’t care about inhumane treatment of workers”
Racism is a terrible problem. Unfortunately it is very difficult for me to take Blatter seriously. Seems if you want a problem free World Cup you should have started with a legitimate host selection process.
Racism is a social problem. As soon as we find a country without any of them I say we should give them the World Cup in perpetuity.
totally, DPRK should be hosting a World Cup because every country isn’t an Utopian paradise
Bellust, Can’t stress how misguided you are. I do not think it’s difficult at all to NOT to take Blatter seriously. I have zero respect for the guy.
It’s a shame that FIFA has to go over the local authorities, the local FA, stadium officials, UEFA, and the fans themselves but if that’s what it takes so be it.
Today, racism. Tomorrow ingratiating air conditioned stadiums. Maybe indentured servitude down the road.
Indentured servitude would be a significant step up for most of the construction workers in Qatar.