Foreign-language banners now allowed in Sochi

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Want to bring a “Go USA!” banner to an Olympics stadium in Sochi? You can do it legally now that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has amended his own decree, relaxing a previously draconian law of what’s prohibited at sports venues in Russia.

Medvedev signed a decree on Jan. 30, allowing spectators in the Sochi region to bring foreign-language banners to games venues, the Olympic News Service said on Wednesday.

Medvedev’s December decree outlawed banners in foreign languages unless the owner provided an official translation and filed it with local officials for approval. Also outlawed were swear words and advertising.

The decree is part of the government’s efforts to bring order to Russian stadiums, particularly football pitches where fans often displayed banners with racist or derogatory statements.

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