FIFA asks Russia for ‘clarification and more details’ of anti-gay law ahead of 2018 World Cup

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The international football governing body FIFA has called on Russia to give “clarification and more details” about anti-gay laws introduced in June ahead of the 2018 World Cup due to take place in the country.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and one which enables organisations receiving funding from abroad to be fined as “foreign agents”, were also passed.

FIFA has now asked Russia, the host of the 2018 World Cup for more information around the law, reports the Associated Press.

In a statement released today, FIFA said: “Russia has committed to provide all visitors and fans with a warm welcome and ensure their safety” during its month-long marquee tournament. Football’s governing body added that it “trusts that the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts will deliver on this promise.”

FIFA says its statutes should dictate that there is “zero tolerance against discrimination,” and Article 3 states that “discrimination of any kind … is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

The laws have so far sparked controversy among LGBT activists, with some calling for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Others have also called to boycott Russian vodka as a form of protest.

Yesterday the Russian Interior Ministry confirmed that recently introduced anti-gay legislation will remain in force during the Sochi games.

A petition which has gathered over 150,000 signatures, calls for the 2014 games to be relocated to Vancouver, following the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia.

In an interview last week, a senior International Olympics Committee member said: “Russia must respect the Olympic Charter, or we will say goodbye to them”, broaching the question of relocating the games with the IOC for the first time.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter in June sparked anger by dismissing a question on the logistics of Qatar, a country in which homosexuality is illegal, hosting the World Cup.