Russian FA chief: Football must deal with 'virus' of racism

Russian riot police clash with fans during the Shinnik Yroslavl vs Spartak Moscow match in Yaroslavl on 30 October 2013
Russian riot police have clashed with fans in the past

Russian football must eliminate the "virus" of racism before the 2018 World Cup, the general secretary of the Russian Football Union says.

Anatoly Vorobyov admits "not everything is going smoothly" in their attempts to eliminate racist behaviour.

"The host nation for the World Cup is under a microscope," Vorobyov acknowledged.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter spoke on Monday of his concerns following a study of racism in Russia.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure
Manchester City's Yaya Toure suffered racist abuse during a 2013 Champions League match in Moscow

The report by the Fare network and the Sova Center highlighted more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.

"I am aware of the report - sure we are concerned, definitely," Blatter said.

Vorobyov added: "We have enough disciplinary measures which are laid out in our regulations. On the other hand, perhaps they need to be used more strictly.

"There has been a lot of reports about corruption issues, both about Qatar and about Russia. There is really increased interest in host nations."

Russian football's racism problem
Manchester City played their Champions League group game at CSKA Moscow in October 2014 behind closed doors because the Russian club were serving a punishment for a series of offences, including racist chanting.
Dynamo Moscow defender Christopher Samba was suspended for two matches in September 2014 after making a gesture at Torpedo Moscow supporters who had shouted racial insults at him. FC Rostov midfielder Guelor Kanga received a three-match ban for a similar offence in December.
Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure suffered monkey chants during Manchester City's 2-1 win at CSKA in a Champions League group game in 2013. CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky claimed "the situation had been very exaggerated".
Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos had a banana thrown at him while playing for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in June 2011. Carlos walked off the field in protest at "the disgusting incident".
Lokomotiv Moscow fans unfurled a banner with a banana and the words "Thanks West Brom" on it, after the English club signed Nigerian winger Peter Odemwingie in 2010. The head of Russia's World Cup bid committee Alexey Sorokin claimed "to get a banana" was a slang term for failing a test.