A day after UEFA announced stricter measures to deal with racism in football, Russian officials announced the introduction of a new ‘Fans Law’ to deal with extreme behaviour in the build-up to and during the 2018 World Cup.
Football in Russia has been plagued with hooliganism and racism for years and has become a major concern for the country which will host FIFA’s flagship tournament in five years time.
Deputy chief executive of the organising committee Alexander Djordjadze explained at the Soccerex Business Forum in Manchester what would happen if this new law was broken.
He said: “The law envisages serious fines and bans, banning from matches hooligans, it envisages arrests and suspension of businesses for organisers of the matches.”
Russia expects to welcome more than one million foreigners to the 2018 World Cup and the new law according to officials is a way of guaranteeing their safety.
Under the proposed law there will also be visa-free entry to the country for fans arriving with match tickets and free travel between host cities.
The ‘Fans Law’ has been given the seal of approval by the lower house of the Russian parliament and will now go to the upper house before being signed off by president Vladimir Putin later this year.