Russia will cooperate with a FIFA investigation into racist abuse directed at French players by Russian fans during a pre-World Cup friendly last month, a Russian soccer official said on Monday.
Alexei Smertin, the Russian Football Union’s anti-discrimination inspector, said global soccer’s governing body had informed it about the launch of an investigation into the incident.
“The Russian Football Union is ready to take an active part in it (the FIFA probe) and is already conducting an internal investigation,” Smertin said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.
There have been other reported cases of racist abuse, however, in the run-up to the tournament.
At CSKA Moscow’s Europa League quarter-final match against Arsenal last week, a Reuters photographer heard dozens of supporters make monkey chants aimed at some of Arsenal’s black players.
European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, told Reuters last week that no racist behavior had been reported to it by match officials at the game.