FIFA has warned broadcasters to stop focusing on “feminine fans” in the crowd at the ongoing 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s diversity chief, said the world football governing body needed to help tackle sexism at the tournament.
“We’ve done it with individual broadcasters. We’ve done it with our host broadcast services,” he said.
“We have been monitoring games and we have documented more than 30 cases”.
Addiechi was asked if the crackdown would officially become a FIFA policy, he added: “This is one of the activities we definitely will have in future – it’s a normal evolution.”
He said it was not yet a “proactive campaign” but said the body will “take action against things that are wrong”.
Before the tournament, there were concerns that homophobia and racism would be the major areas of concern. But Piara Powar, Fare Network executive director, said sexism was the main focus of discrimination identified by his team, mainly against Russian women, who were being “accosted in the streets” by male fans.
Powar said there had been several cases of female reporters being grabbed or kissed while on air.
Reacting to Powar’s claims, Addiechi said FIFA has been working with the local organizers and Russian police to identify these fans, some of whom he said had lost their FAN-IDs. Addiechi said some of the fans have been forced to leave Russia over the loss of their IDs.
Photographic agency, Getty Images reportedly published a photo gallery of “the hottest fans at the World Cup”, featuring exclusively young women. The gallery was later removed by Getty, saying it was a “regrettable error in judgement” and that an internal investigation would be made.